Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why I Took The Road Untraveled

Something unbelievable happened to me last night. It was as though the clouds themselves parted, and God struck me with a bolt of lightening, shattering every doubt I ever had about my plans for next fall. This is what happened... I went onto for my daily fit of giggles and the first two posts really hit me. Not in a ha-ha kind of way, but in a life changing kind of way. Because one post was from someone living in Lazio, Italy, the region that Rome is in. And the one after that was a post from someone living in Nova Scotia, Canada. That has to mean something, right? That the area I'm currently living in came right after the area I'm thinking about living in next fall? Is this completely bizarre, or is it just a coincidence? I'm kind of surprised that God would choose to send me this significant sign through a website titled "Fuck My Life", but then again, God does work in mysterious ways...
The more I think about it, the more I see myself living in Halifax. I can see myself at school wearing a Hello, my name is name tag and sitting in a lecture hall while some brilliant professor shares his or her knowledge with me. I can see myself listening to Great Big Sea while riding a bike through the hills with a view of the Atlantic ocean and lighthouses. I can see myself taking a trip to Prince Edward Island to visit the house of Anne of Green Gables and laughing about how silly it was of me to ever live in Ontario.
But I seriously think I have a shot at getting into this school. I have above the average percentage that I need to get in, but there's a lot more to the process than just sending in my
Please let me in.
application. For example, I need to collect 3 reference letter's from people in my life who believe that I would make a good Journalist. I already contacted two of my favourite teacher's and think that it might be a good idea for one of my reader's to help me out! So I'm asking for a favour from someone who is a fan of my blog to please write me a letter of reference addressed to "To Whom It May Concern". You don't have to know me personally, but since my blog is an example of my Journalism skills, I thought it would be a great idea for one of you to write a letter on why you think I'm a good writer and why I would make a good Journalist. Guys - I actually need your help here. Its for a good cause, and obviously if you thought I suck at writing, you wouldn't be visiting my page every time I update my adventures. So please, please, please send me an e-mail with a potential letter of reference. It would really stand out from all the other applicants who just 
Lighthouses and coast lines - I could live here.
have coaches, teachers and family friends writing letter's like, "I think John Smith would make a great because he is very academic and is ambitious." No. I really need someone to spice it up and say something like, "I know that MichElle Pressé would make a fantastic addition to your school because she has the skills and abilities required to be a Journalist. Over the past several months, I have been following her blog titled University of Life. Her whimsical writing and hilarious stories always keep me coming back for more, and she continues to top each post and impress me with her witty writing style." I don't think I ask you guys for much, but I am asking you now to help me out. How cool would it be to include a letter of reference from someone who is considered a fan of my blog? Please e-mail me at if you wish to make me a very happy person.
But I also need to send them a resume and write a 1,000 word autobiographical sketch about myself. They want to know about my academic strengths and weaknesses, general interests, any Journalism-related work I may have done, and anything else that would contribute to a 
well-rounded story about myself. The only difficulty I have with this is that I don't think 1,000 words is enough to describe myself. But every good Journalist must learn to downsize and say as much as possible with as little words as he or she can... Besides that, I need to create a portfolio which will include a maximum of 5 published pieces of work that I have. Its the same thing if I were apply to art school - I would need to include copies of my paintings and/or drawings to prove that I already have some skill in the field that I want to work in. I wrote an article in grade 8 about the childhood obesity epidemic which was my first ever published piece, so I plan on including that. I also plan on 
adding a few of my most treasured blog posts, and I'm currently in touch with the local newspaper from Port Colborne who might the story that I wrote about my experience on "Why I Took The Road Untraveled". There's this reporter who I know named Eddie who interviewed me a couple of times in high school for my work with Fair Trade, and I still hung on to his e-mail. As a budding writer, you really have to put yourself out there and do as much legwork as possible to get recognition. So, I e-mailed him, and it went a little something like this...
I introduced myself and told him that he may not remember me, but that I remember him and his work through The Tribune. I told him that I have hopes of becoming a Journalist and then went on to tell him my story and how I ended up in Italy. I mentioned how I wanted to get my degree in Journalism in Nova Scotia, and how I needed to submit a portfolio of published work. Then came the big question: Will you please consider publishing the article I wrote about my experience in the local paper so that I can increase my chances of being admitted into the school of my dreams? 
The very next day, I had an unread message in my inbox from him. I was expecting him to say that no, he did not remember me, and that perhaps if I sent it to him he would eventually read it and decide whether or not he would publish it. Basically, I was expecting the worst, as most writer's are rejected dozens and even hundreds of times before any of their work is publicised. But instead, he began the letter by saying that of course he remembers me and
that he would definitely be interested in reading "Why I Took The Road Untraveled". He told me that running it as a feature article wasn't out of the question and that I should send it his way so that he can look over it with the city editor. At the end of his e-mail he wrote, "Good luck on the road to journalism. It's not an easy one to travel, but I'm sure you'll be one of the exceptions!"
I reread the e-mail just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. He remembered me. He's going to read my article. He's going to show it to the city editor. Today Kelsey came over for a little workout session, and she was kind enough to look over and criticise my article. She loved it, and once she left, I sent it directly to Eddie. So its sent, sitting in his inbox waiting to be read. I don't know what he's going to say. On the one hand, he could read it and fall in love with it and tell the city editor that "we absolutely must feature 
this story in the paper. It will sell millions of copies and it would be a shame to let such talent go to waste". But on the other hand, he might say, "Dear MichElle... Thank you for submitting your article. Too bad it sucked".
Maybe it does suck. I don't know. He's the professional, and he'll be the one to decide whether or not its worthy of landing on the doorsteps of every home in Port Colborne. Rejection is part of the process, and I have to prepare myself if and when that happens. And if it does, will I be upset? Yes. Will that stop me from revising my work and resubmitting something, anything, until I get something in print? No. Because it isn't the world's fault I wanted to be an artist. So I have to quit my complaining and get back to work. 

On a side note, everyone, would you please do me a favour and become an official 'follower' on my blog? All you do is go to the right side of my blog page under the list of my post titles. Under there, you will see my current followers and click on the blue 'Join This Site' button. Its very simple to do and would mean a lot to me as I'm trying to get more official followers. Thank you!

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