Matt reveals what inspired his decision to switch academic fields.

What Follows a Leap of Faith

In a previous post, I discussed my leap from the field of biology to the field of print communications. Even though I’m very happy with my switch now, I faced some serious hurdles while transitioning into the field of communications.

It was a typical mid-July day in northeast Philadelphia this past summer—sun beating down, humidity making everything and anything sticky, sprinklers slowly moving back and forth, salvaging what was left of the straw-like grass. I was getting ready to walk to work at the grocery store, dreading every minute of it, when I received a message from my friend, Jayson, proposing an idea.

He had this vision of revamping the University’s newspaper (as I also mentioned in a previous post) and needed a staff of writers to do so. I was offered the positions of Copy Editor and Opinion Section Editor and I was ecstatic, to say the least. It was a chance not only to write for a newspaper but to be an editor. At the time, the only career I had in mind was to be an editor of a magazine or newspaper. How could I refuse?

When the sticky summer days had come to an end, it was back to Arcadia, and that meant jumping right into the newspaper. For a while, my energy was high. Ideas for the paper poured from my mind onto a notepad, and I couldn’t wait to share.

Adding to my excitement was the journalism class I had once a week. I wanted so badly to learn the ins and outs of the field, with the thought of that editor position never far from me.

I sat in the computer lab, leaning forward in my chair, listening to my professor speak. I waited to hear something. I’m not exactly sure what I wanted to hear—just something to catch my attention during that first class of Journalism I.

After class ended, I climbed the stairs from the ground floor of the library, rummaging through my thoughts about the professor’s lecture. I searched so desperately to find that something—that something to confirm that I chose the right field after abandoning biology. But as I reached the top of the stairs, I realized it wasn’t there.

It wasn’t the professor. It wasn’t the class. It was the material. I never did find that something, and all the energy I had for the newspaper and journalism faded, and my passion began to wither. Not my passion for writing but my passion for journalistic writing.

Soon I faced a crisis and began to doubt my entire future.