Journalism Saved My High School Experience
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Journalism Saved My High School Experience

I did not have the High School Musical fairy tale that I had hoped for, but this one thing made all the difference in my high school career.

Journalism Saved My High School Experience

I did not like high school from freshman to junior year. At all. I struggled with having surgeries all the time, fake friends and relationships, family problems and overall just not really feeling like I had a place in this world. I dropped out of theater, left choir and pretty much had to start over my senior year. I was burnt out by the drama and choral department and felt like I really didn't belong there anymore. I was so focused on getting a better ACT score and a higher GPA for my college admissions decisions, plus working part-time to save money that I felt very disconnected from school.

BUT, by some random choice I made, I joined my high school online newspaper class right before senior year started. I got a recommendation from one of my English teachers, which allowed me to skip the intro to journalism prerequisite and go straight into online news. I knew nothing about journalism, AP Style or interviewing. I was just bored and knew I liked English, so I would probably like this.

Well, it turned out to be the best thing that came out of my high school experience and has overall made me a better person.

I started out in the class very shut off and sitting alone. I slowly started to branch out, and eventually, I felt like that room was my second home. I was asked to redesign the website that we posted all of our news articles onto at the beginning of the year and I decided to say yes. I had some experience and was really the only person to volunteer. After I agreed to that project, I all of the sudden stepped into a hundred more.

Over the next few months, once I had started to pick up the technicalities of journalistic styles and rules, I blossomed. I became the editor of the online news staff and was writing non-stop. I was writing about current events that I was passionate about, teachers and student who were making a difference in our school and my favorite, Op-Ed stories. I felt like journalism gave me the voice I had been searching for the last three years. I was informing my peers and I had a platform of my own. It changed the game for me, not just for my high school experience, but for my perspectives on life, myself and society.

Not only all of that, but I also made friends that I would have never met without that class. Our staff was a whopping six students and most of us ate lunch together in the journalism classroom after class ended as well, so we became pretty close. I wouldn't trade those kids for anything. They all pushed me to be the best editor and leader I could have been and I miss them all so much!

On top of that, my journalism teacher was an absolute rockstar. She believed in me a lot more than I believed in myself and I am not sure if she knows, but I needed that so badly. I did not realize the impact I could make until I met her and she opened this whole new world for me. She was one of the most motivating, understanding and rewarding teachers I have ever had. I will never forget what she did for me.

At semester, I decided to join our brand new broadcast media class. Now, my teacher would have normally not let someone do this, but for some reason, she trusted me that I would work hard to get caught up on the last semester of the class. I started to grow even more. I loved creating visual content, working with cameras and coming up with content to match my journalistic ideas! It was a creative fire that sparked an entire match in my own personal life. Now, I make YouTube videos of my own because I realized how much I love video content creation!

So, as you can tell, I had a pretty awesome high school journalism experience. It changed my outlook on the world, it made me more aware and it made me confident in myself as a leader as well. I miss it so much, but I am so excited for the kiddos trying it out for the first time this fall just like I did.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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