I know this dilemma first hand. A few months ago, I had a quarter-life crisis which lead me to chose between two paths - risk being a poor, down-trotted conduit of news or incorporate my journalism skills to do good in this world and receive a fat paycheck for it a.k.a. go to law school.
Not that I am obsessed about being wealthy or anything, but considering the fact that I do not come from an affluent background and am struggling with the financial aid I receive, I want the guarantee of a comfortable life - both personally and materialistically. Basically, I do not want to be driving a beat up Toyota Tercel when I am 35.
Unlike most journalism majors who are willing to put their entire life and dreams on hold for many years and report about things they could care less about in places they hate, I cannot see myself doing so forever. A perfectionist at heart, I do not know if I have that much patience and love for such an uncertain career.
Don't get me wrong. I love journalism with all my heart. I love everything about it. From the adrenaline-inducing deadlines to the annoying editors who never seem to be satisfied with your best work, I would not have it any other way. I love informing people about the latest events and possibly even making a difference with my writing. But sometimes I wonder if there is any purpose for it. Sure there are stories that win Pulitzer Prizes and shed light on social and ethnic injustices, but most people (especially in America) are apathetic. No one cares. And for the few people who do, who among them will stand up and champion for a cause until it ceases to exist? While several righteous causes do become popular in the public sphere, sooner or later however, they lose their appeal.
Currently, I am having difficulty reconciling my love for journalism and fear of being an unaccomplished deadbeat. But for now, I am pursuing both. Let's see where I end up.