Senior year is terrifying.

Because I did everything right. I interned and freelanced and managing-edited and chased down stories and went days without sleep.

And it might not work out. It might not lead to anything.

I’ve always known that all the work I did entitled me to precisely nothing — that it’s a meritocracy, that it’s a sluggish economy, that it’s just not going to happen for some people and I might be one of them.

But that wasn’t real. It was years off. There was so much trying left to be done, and it stood in between me and the big, blank future.

I know how to be a journalist. I know how to strive toward being a journalist. And I know how, in the course of that striving, to make a ton of sacrifices.

But I don’t know how to just survive.

Everything was worth it — the hours of work, the late nights and early mornings, the snippy sources, the writer’s block, the ethical dilemmas, even the paycheck-to-paycheck and the blue-collar jobs on the side — because I loved it. And because of this idea of payoff at the end, not monetary payoff, but this idea of, When this is all over, you get to wake up and be a journalist all day, every single day.

I know most people my age are stuck like this.

I know they all worked hard.

I know I don’t deserve it any more than they do.

But I just want it so bad. This isn’t eloquent or deep or meaningful, it’s just — I want a chance. I know I could do amazing things. I just need an opportunity.

Please, please let there be something coming next.