Becoming a scientist and a journalist: Merging two worlds

Becoming a scientist and a  journalist: Merging two worlds

As a pre-optometry major with a schedule focused primarily on science courses, it may come to a surprise to see someone like me as an editor in a college student newspaper.
When you throw into the mix that I’m an editor of the arts and leisure section, that’s equally as odd. Considering I’m a freshman student with barely a semester under my belt, pretty much sums up the fact that I’m a completely unpredictable pick for The Gannon Knight.
However, that doesn’t mean that I’m the wrong choice.
Although I’m somewhat scattered between my area of study and my extracurricular commitments, I see it as an advantage rather than something that makes me unqualified for this job.
I’ve always been interested in both areas, and being able to be involved in both science and journalism allows me to develop an understanding and an appreciation between the two: something I never would’ve experienced if I would’ve stayed inside my science-oriented bubble.
I think as college students, especially during freshman year, we are expected, and somewhat encouraged, to pick a major and stay within that area of study when it comes to extracurricular activities. It seems comfortable and convenient to surround our out-of-class time focused on the things that we spend a majority of our in-class time discussing.
While this necessarily isn’t a bad thing, it tricks us into believing that whatever we decide to major in has to encompass our whole life, which is absolutely not the case.
I think there is a lot to be said for people, and even specific careers, that find a way to merge two worlds of conflicting natures. There are a number of advantages and opportunities available for people who find a way to incorporate what they do for a living and what they love as a passion.
For example, there’s always going to be a need for talented, well-worded writers in the science and medical field with papers, journals and other publications being produced every time a new development or discovery is made.
Vice versa, there’s always going to be an opening for informative, driven journalists with a strong background in science education so that they can understand and write stories based on complicated scientific topics.
That being said, who is to say that I can’t find a way to merge optometry and journalism into a fulfilling college experience, and potentially a fulfilling career?
One piece of advice that I’ve held onto throughout my journey to journalism is from my high school journalism teacher. She’s always told me, “You’re the right person for the job.”
When it comes to being an editor for The Knight, I know she’s right. Although I may be a freshman oddball, and I’m certainly not a perfect writer, I know I can give this my best shot.
So bear with me Knight readers. I may not be the traditional editor, but I can promise you one thing: I’m the right person for the job.

OLIVIA BURGER
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