It’s difficult for a reason

Almost since the first day I stepped on campus, I have thought, “What am I doing here at Columbia? Why does this program feel like such a struggle? Do I even belong at this school?”

Earlier this week, I watched a video of a commencement speech by actor Charlie Day. (My favourite part starts at 16:42.) He’s pretty funny in it, and the students clearly enjoy listening to his jokes about college life. But it’s the ending that makes it clear why it’s been watched more than 2 million times online. The writer and actor best known for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia talks about how success in life isn’t really about doing what you love or makes you happy. It’s often about being somewhere that makes you better, that pushes you to be great, and places you with incredible people to help you get there along the way. It’s about failing, a lot. And it’s about choosing to take the right risks despite fears you may have about well, pretty much everything.

Our accounting midterm is tomorrow. We’re learning all this stuff about bad debt expenses, balance statements and cash flows. A lot of people think it’s dry, but the professor is great, answers all of our questions, and many of us can already see how it will make us better journalists. I can already see how it matters, because I can actually feel myself really learning stuff, and then I read my industry-leading professors write stories like this:

I still have a lot of personal doubts, but I know I’m here for a lot of great reasons. It’s definitely not going to get easier. But it’s already definitely worth it.


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