I always thought I was going to be a newspaper writer— but things changed as I was given an opportunity at age 17 for a student reporter position for ABC 13 news. The support of my teachers and my family is what made me a strong woman with goals.
In college, I was involved in many media activities. I was President for a Hispanic Journalism organization, Anchor/Reporter for news and also the voice for many platforms. News became a part of me, and that is all I could think about. When my last semester of college rolled in– I began to get nervous. This last semester was all about applying to new jobs, and in reality I thought I wasn’t ready for this. I began to get sick and stress about the little things.
When I graduated, I had more than 200 applications sent to different stations statewide. My email box began to fill with a whole list of piles of “NO’s.” Each email said the same thing– You are great, but we are concerned maybe you need some voice lessons and etc… I began to get frustrated, and I was on the edge of giving up on my dream. However, I just asked God for help. I landed a job in Nebraska, and it took me courage to accept it. I knew my life was going to change as I signed the contract. I packed my things, and headed to Nebraska– about 20 hours away from a place I call home. When I started working– I just fell in love with my job. Despite the pay– you will start from the bottom. Working in small markets– you will be in budget every single day.
As days started to roll in– I began to realize, What in the world did I get myself into? The reason I say this– You will have to adjust to a different culture– you start to miss your family– work becomes stressful, and you do realize who your true friends are. People who check on you and ask you if you are doing okay are the people who stand by your side– & for me those are very few.
When I first came here– I began to get very sick. People deal with emotions differently– but for me as a person that is how I get. I am getting a lot better now. I am not trying to sound like a pity party– but the price to chase your dreams– that’s how it is. You will have to adjust to things you are not used to. Honestly, I love reporting but never knew it was going to be this way. I am a very strong person, and I always keep my head up high– so I just keep an open heart. Every time I see my work on television– I get so happy, and say, “Yeah I did that!”
There are a few things I wish I knew in college and those things are leaving to a different state maybe for a year or two and how it was going to affect you emotionally. For some people– it does not affect them as much– but for me it did. However, I feel like I was placed in this world to make a difference. News is a 24/7 job. News is not about being glamourous. Sometimes, I am running around with my pony tail and makeup running down your face– you have to make the deadline so you have to do it. Honestly, I get really tired of waking up and doing my makeup every single day. It’s a hassle for me– I just want to leave with a fresh face– but you’re the voice so you always have to look presentable. I know that when I start thinking about starting a family– I will still be a journalist, but for me my priority are my kids and my husband. I want them to remember me as a kind person. There will always be jobs, but family always comes first.
Don’t live to work; work to live. What I mean is that– I have seen so many people in the industry put work above family. Do what you love, but never forget where you came from.
This article was originally was published on Jacqueline Garcia’s blog.