What I Learned From Being A High School Journalist

What I Learned From Being A High School Journalist

Endless late nights, last minute edits, and writing are all things you grow to love as a high school journalist.
54
views

I distinctly remember the first day stepping foot in my high school’s journalism class. It was the first day of my sophomore year, and I was especially excited for the first day of that year. I came into high school knowing absolutely no one, but over the course of that year, I met some of the best people who eventually became my best friends.

However, at that moment sitting in my journalism class for the very first time during the first period, I was especially enthused. Admittedly, I was pretty nervous as well. It seemed like everyone had formed their groups within the class, and I felt like I was the only new person.

Yet, I reminded myself that this was a class and a topic I wanted to learn more about ever since fourth grade. Despite the butterflies fluttering in my stomach, staying in the class and overcoming my doubt, was the best decision ever.

The first quarter was difficult to stay the least. It was back to back lessons on Associate Press style and pyramid style as my Journalism 101. The AP Stylebook became my saving grace for all things style that I could possibly wonder. Which numbers do I spell out? How do I attribute a source?

Every time I cracked open the book to consult any question I had, I learned the value of research and writing with an increased grammatical precision. Also, I learned about word count, and that seriously comes in handy in college when a teacher tells you a word count and you have a better idea of how long it should be!

Most importantly, I made some of the best friends who shared my passion for journalism, writing and finding the truth.

Ethically chasing for the facts rather than #FakeNews. These are critical things I took to the newsroom in college but life as well!

Popular Right Now

10 Things That Only Happen On Small Campuses

"No, we don't have a football team"
50101
views

Don't let people give you the pitiful "ohhhh" when you reveal your enrollment at a small school. Everyone who goes to a small school can agree that it is nothing like a large, state school. I think even those state school students will confirm that. But what people don't know about a small school is that it has its perks, and they are good.

1. Leaving your room 5 minutes before class...and still being on time

2. Guaranteed to get at least one "hey" every time you walk somewhere

3. Actually knowing the people who follow you on Instagram, Facebook friends, or dare I say...Tinder

4. Making friends outside of your major is more common than not

5. You also know every single person in your major

6. Going through a super awkward and aggressive orientation program as a freshman and using that as a strong common bond with a (then) complete stranger

7. Probably finding your best friend through that previously mentioned hideously intense, ice-breaker-obessed orientation program

8. Anticipating the long* wait for food on those really good days but knowing when to go to get around it
*long is really only like 15 minutes

9. There is no cover charge at parties...yes, apparently this is a thing

10. Being invited to dinners at the president's house because you're on a first name basis (oh yeah, and Mrs. President floats around campus regularly with baked pastries and warm smiles)

So if you're looking for a tight-knit community that loves to give out hello's when they are due, or a campus where you can wake up and eat breakfast 30 minutes before class and still be on time, look into those small schools that maybe don't have a 50,000 seat stadium. What they do have are the people you will remember and that will remember you, classes that taught you beyond the test, and a uniqueness that just isn't found at a large school. At a small school you're a face, a name, your own legacy...not a number.



Cover Image Credit: Roanoke College Facebook page

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Patience Is More Important Than A 4-Year Degree

One means nothing without the other.

152
views

Senior year makes you reflect on what you've accomplished in your college career. The classes, professors, peers, clubs and organizations, great choices, terrible choices, and everything in between all accumulates into one unique experience for each individual. If there's one thing that I've learned while putting my life into perspective this year, it's that college is mostly bullshit.

Yes, classes can be cool and informative. Yes, you can learn a lot from your professors. But how much of what you learn in the classroom directly relates to what you'll be doing for a living? Unless you're going to med school, probably not much. Do any internship, talk to any person in a company that you want to work for, and they'll all tell you the same thing – what you went through to earn your 4-year certificate to work is only 5% of what you need to do the job.

You need hard skills, which are things that directly translate into your performance as a worker. You need people skills, aka "well yes this person is certainly qualified to do the job, but am I going to enjoy being in an office with them for 40 hours per week or more?" Most importantly, however, I think you need patience.

College students are under so much pressure in the 18-25 age range to have our lives completely figured out. If we don't, then the older generation and even our peers like to frame us as failures. In reality, less than one percent of us know what we want to do for the rest of our lives and we try painting a picture on social media and construct great narratives in person to make it seem as if we know what we're doing. Why can't we emphasize patience as it is a powerful virtue?

We get so caught up in other's expectations of us that we forget that we are only in the first quarter of our lives, and we have the entire ball game to go (thanks @garyvee for that line). Why do people get so bent out of shape when we're not even at halftime? Patience is incredibly important to learn, both for your mental health and ability to perform. Most of what you learn to do your job will be learned while on the job, so stressing out about grades shouldn't be your top priority. Yes, making good grades is optimal, but employers will be more impressed with what you've managed to do aside from earning your grades in school.

Most of us at this age are going to be able to work until we are in our 70s easily (thanks to healthcare and technology). This means we have 40-50 really good years of production in us. It took the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, seven years to win his first title. If Jordan was patient enough to go seven years being the greatest player, then you can stay patient for a few years to figure out what you love to do and become great at it. Four years in college is nothing in relation to your entire career, especially when the value of those four years doesn't come from your classes, but instead your connections.

Our greatest weakness in this generation is our lack of patience and perspective. It becomes a dangerous thing when we have a loaded resume, have ample skills, a great personality, awesome work ethic, but still think we are failures because we don't have a job or aren't entirely sure of where we're going with our lives. If you're that college student (and trust me, I was for a long time), finding your patient side and gaining that perspective on life will help you go a lot further than sweating the small stuff.

Related Content

Facebook Comments