Journalists often get a bad rap. It worries me all the time about the precarious nature of the job. A job that is somewhat shrouded in secrecy and even as a student I have no real clue of what my future 9-5 will be like. If it’ll even be a 9-5! But whatever happens it will be so worth it as I’m putting my 2016 new years resolutions to the test, so that I can get the best out of my degree as I can…
Sorry for the slightly miserable opening there! But hey it’s exams week and the beginning of the second semester on Monday so cut me a little slack!
Years ago, during my GCSE’s I sat a test that was designed to help you pick your future career based on your skills. I found the results booklet when I went home at Christmas and couldn’t help but laugh. After the interview part of the test where they could get to know us as well as some results on paper, I recieved my final booklet. I was told what I should be: either a journalist or an engineer.
Why was this so funny to me? Because I’m dating a mechanical engineering student and I have tried to understand his course. I knew that his third year work would be far too complex for me to understand so I took up a free course on Coursera to understand the basics of mechanical engineering. I lasted a week!
He’s making a treadmill for a praying mantis. Third year mechanical engineering, what even are you?! 😂😂 #newcastleuni #mechanicalengineering #uni #prayingmantis # design #design project #designforindustry
A photo posted by shannon (@shambiwolf) on
The idea that that could have been my career path definitely amused me because whilst studying those lectures my brain went all fuzzy and dull and I was constantly confused. I couldn’t handle it.
But journalism has always been at the back of my mind.
When I was a child I loved reading, writing and searching for facts. I consumed non-fiction books and I was forever spouting random facts.
In primary school we got given a research project to do on any subject we wanted. I chose Wolves as they were (and still are) my favourite animals. The project was about thirty pages long and full of pictures. I loved it. I even tried getting an interview with someone from a local wolf centre. Not that I really knew what journalism was back then, but when I think back, I had that interest that was developed throughout my time at home and school.
Photography has always been a family hobby too, we all had our own cameras and any excuse to photograph things was taken. Leaning out of car windows, stopping at places we shouldn’t have and just generally trying to get as many photos as we could on a holiday.
A photo posted by shannon (@shambiwolf) on
I remember I used to be obsessed with the family camcorder. It was an honour to carry it on holidays and when we first went to Venice, it was the first time I was ever allowed to film anything on it. Albeit shoddy work, I still love watching the little clip of the pigeons as I zoom out way too quickly and nearly drop the camera.
It’s small things like this that once I settled on my course and thought back about it, I realised I must have just chosen this from the heart. As I’ve always had a love for reading, writing, filming and photography.
My course is media and journalism. So we do everything from radio, to print, to filming, to editing. All of this makes for great basic knowledge in the areas, but i’m still not sure what I want to move off into in terms of a career path.
Documentaries have always been my favourite thing to watch and especially channel 4 with their mantra of ‘changing perceptions’. I watch pretty much anything and I would love to be involved in filming documentaries in the future. Especially documentaries about animals or the environment.
(like the Hunt, for instance, a wonderful show!)
|Alfred Eisenstaedt-‘El beso en Times Square’. One of my favourite photojournalists and one of his most wonderful photographs.|
Photojournalism has always been a keen interest of mine. Possibly why blogging appeals so much.
So why this blog post you may ask? It is exam time and the second half of second year begins next week. I have to stay motivated, strong and remember why I’m doing this. I’m half way through my degree now and I really can’t believe I’ve got that far!
After studying law for two years and realising it wasn’t for me I decided I had to take my last opportunity to do what I wanted to do with my life.
So why did I chose this degree?
Because I love writing. I love drafting and redrafting work and looking up facts to fill out my work.
I love taking photographs. When you see that image come through perfectly and you know you’ve captured exactly what you were after.
I love filming videos too. A skill that has been enhanced whilst at uni, playing with ‘big boys toys’ kinds of cameras and sound equipment. I like watching the behind the scenes, being in it all, and then watching the footage back and seeing it all come together nicely in the editing.
I like the feeling of being at an event for a reason. Sounds a bit odd I know, but I can be quite shy and being at events that are out of my comfort zone aren’t always fun. But this semester I’m part of university media team and I plan to push myself out there a bit more with opportunities.
To be at an event with the team, filming it gives me such a sense of confidence in my presence. I know why i’m there and what i’m supposed to be doing.
But this course has gone above and beyond teaching me how to love new feelings, new experiences.
I have learned to love that slight nervousness where my anxiety creeps in just before I meet someone new or speak to them for an interview.
I remember my first phone interview with the deputy editor of one of the UK’s biggest cycling magazines- I was so nervous, constantly questioning whether my questions were good enough to waste his time with and panicking about little things like what if my voice cracks or I mess up my words and don’t sound professional. I rehearsed just answering him before he picked up the phone.
But once i started, I was in. I was enjoying getting the facts, getting this man’s answers and scribbling down extra thoughts whilst the recorder did its thing.
I was so ecstatic that it went so well. I was really proud of myself. The person with crippling social anxiety that I can hang up the phone if it gets too much or walk out of a queue because someone pushed in front and i’m too scared to confront them.
The media side of my degree has really made me confident in my abilities too. I’m now watching films and questioning even more ‘How was that done?’ ‘How did this interview happen?’ and lots of other questions.
I appreciate amazing editing skills more now than ever before because as I sit and edit my own videos, both for university and for my own self, I really wish I had their skills and their software! I love watching the clips getting cut down, even the aggravation of hearing the same audio for the thousandth time, and then it all comes together.
Studying journalism is bringing me out of my shell. I’m trying stuff I always said I would, but never did. It’s given me a chance to realign my aspirations and to excel at what I have skills in. I don’t know what my future will hold but as the second semester begins on Monday, I am forcing myself to try new things. To SAY YES to new things that could possibly enhance my career or my skills.
I have not a clue which area I want to go into but it’s time I started building some experience across the board and part of that is enhancing this blog, my youtube channel and taking far more interest in what my university and local area are offering up.
This semester we’re studying ‘hyper-local journalism’ that focuses on local news stories. This is brilliant for me as it means I can now crack on with getting real experience under my belt.
So this week, when the exams are going on, as stressed out as I am and panicky, I have to remember why this is all worth it.
These exams will get me the qualification I need to live the life I want. So that I can have the jobs I’ve always dreamed of and that will suit me.
So all the revision will be worth it, the not watching as much TV as usual will be worth it and so will stepping out of my comfort zone in the next semester.
To all those starting another semester at uni or college, good luck and make the most of it! And to those considering what you want to study, really do choose for yourself.
(sorry I had to, I really miss my sims right now!)
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