Being on staff: Notes from a novice

Becoming a staff member of a college newspaper was probably one of the biggest surprises of my summer. It’s been a strange place to come to, as most new environments are, but it’s a great departure from the realm of academic writing that many students become stuck in while in college.

Is it difficult to adjust to? Sort of. Some things about newspaper work are kind of hard to process at the beginning.  You might not be completely familiar with AP formatting, or you’re not sure you want that many people reading your articles just yet, but a lot of the nervousness about writing goes away after you get into a rhythm. Aside from those initial difficulties, the Review does have multiple sections, so it can be easier to begin writing in an area close to your own comfort level and let those roots spread from there, so to speak.

Even if you feel some inadequacies because of your lack of experience, working at the paper affords you the opportunity to learn from and work with more experienced writers and editors, and it helps a lot. Talking with editors and other writers really helps to build your own confidence as a writer, especially if you’re new. They can be intimidating when you meet them or read their articles for the first time, but communication with them can help you eventually define yourself as a journalist.

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