An hour ago, I told myself that I'd start working on my assigned Tocqueville reading that's due this week in my American Political Thought class. Since then, I've managed to Facebook stalk everyone I know, send 50 text messages and stare at a crack in the ceiling.
The worst part of all this is that I actually really enjoy studying politics, and I find Democracy in America to be absolutely fascinating, I just have this thing against doing mandatory things.
In high school, I realized that I loved reading most of the assigned literature books, but only if I didn't read them for class. The second something became a mandatory assignment, my procrastination skills kicked in and my interest was completely drained.
Isn't that in itself an example of American political thought at work?
There's this tiny source of satisfaction that comes from rebelling. I feel it every time I tell people that I've never watched Game of Thrones, or when I dye my hair a new color (despite my mom's protests). It's this sense of nonconformity. Anyone can do what everyone else does or follow along with what they're told, but it takes a true intellectual to actively do the opposite.
In all fairness, this isn't always to my benefit. The clearest example I can think of is my relationship with the TV show Glee.
When I was in seventh grade, everyone told me that I should watch Glee. As someone who loved music, comedy and theater, I fit perfectly into the show's target audience. There was only one problem: people kept telling me to watch it (which clearly meant that I couldn't).
By the time I finally gave in and started watching it, the first season was already half done and I spent an entire weekend desperately struggling to get caught up. After that, you would think that I wouldn't let myself make such a mistake again and that I would give up my low-key rebellious streak. Unfortunately, it didn't end there.
Writing this post has taken me an additional half hour on top of the two hours I've already spent procrastinating completing my Tocqueville reading. I'll probably start it in a little bit, or not, as long as it's mandatory, I'll push it back as much as I can.
Every time I think I'm solid on the path that life is taking me on, something flips and everything changes. This week is a testament to that.
Last semester, I signed up for a media entrepreneurship class on a whim. The first day of class, we were told to brainstorm ideas for the final project, a business pitch for a hypothetical media company. I quickly jolted down that I'd want to create something having to do with radio or podcasting.
As the semester continued, I grew the hypothetical company. I conducted independent research, held focus group testing, interviewed potential stakeholders and came up with a business plan. I have a bad habit of getting detached from things I work on for a long period of time. I think that's why I like journalism so much; before I get tired of a story, I've already moved on to covering the next one. The same thing happened with my final project. People kept getting excited about it, but I began to loose interest and doubt my concept.
During the final presentations, I was shocked to be named the winner by a judging panel of esteemed media entrepreneurs. I was told by one that I shouldn't let the idea slip away, and that I should pursue turning my hypothetical company into a real one.
Over winter break, having never taken a business class before, I signed up to be considered for a spot in an entrepreneurship incubator. The AUCI Incubator essentially temporarily houses businesses and helps them grow with monetary, legal and business assistance. When they told me that I'd made it to the interview and pitch stage, I was shocked. When they sent me an email saying I'd been offered a highly selective spot in the incubator for the next year, I was speechless.
I think I'm still in the phase of processing it all. I've spent this entire year preparing for a career in journalism. I never thought that I'd have my own company. In my head, I keep running through a list of things that make me unqualified for this role. It feels like this is all a dream, and none of it is actually happening. I know I've put a lot of hard work into this, but I'm just waiting for the point when it all snaps and falls apart. To top it all off, I'm only 20 years old. I can't even legally drink, yet somehow I'm running a business?
The scariest thing was sharing it on Facebook with everyone. I posted and just waited to see how people reacted, knowing that now if I failed, they would all know.
To be honest, the amount of support I received astounded me. I wasn't expecting so many people to reach out to me and ask about the company and how they could get involved. I know it's just in the beginning stages right now and PodcastMe (my company) is still developing, but I'm excited to see what happens. There's really no way of knowing what will happen, but I can still do my best to make sure I'm doing every thing I can to make my first company a success.
If you want to know more about PodcastMe, you can check out the following: