You’re working on finding your voice; this is clear and it’s awesome. Your dilemma isn’t new in the realm of writers, and I’m sure you know this. We’re at a stage now where it isn’t about finding something orignal to say, but finding a way to say something original about something unoriginal.
Op-ed isn’t journalism, and that is a struggle. There isn’t anything wrong with saying something in your own voice, but calling it journalism is mistake.
Journalism has an integrity that goes beyond experience and uses sources and facts to allow readers to draw their own conclusion (sure you know this). Opinion and essays don’t allow for that. Once they do they are no longer opinion but often a research paper or, as you allude to, a peice of real journalisim, which is rare in many outlets now-a-days.
Don’t write for clicks, likes, or recommends.