In life you constantly wonder this or that. The “what if’s” crop up from time to time too. University is like that too even before you get there and once you are there as well! For those of you that have read this blog for a while – you will know that I’ve had my fair share of university decisions. If you haven’t been reading long then here’s the short story.
Age 18 (2011/2012) – Applied for journalism and media degrees at Northumbria University. Gained a place on all five course, but accepted one course – Media, Culture and Society. It wasn’t for me so I withdrew my application and my place on the course. I accepted a place at Northumberland College to study Health and Social Care.
Age 20 (2013/2014) – Applied for five Social Work courses. Got a place at all five universities. Accepted the University of Sunderland.
Age 21 (2014/2015) – In May, I made the decision (upon advice) to withdraw from the Social Work course. I came out with a First! I’m now on a BA Journalism course at the University of Sunderland.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that really I’ve come full circle. I have always loved writing as cliché as it may sound. I wrote a lot when I was younger. I can remember writing about the Tall Ships Race that came to Newcastle in 2005. I wrote poems about World War Two. I couldn’t stop writing.
I tussled back and forth with deciding which course to apply for when it came to applying for university the first time. English Language and Linguistics, Speech and Language Therapy, English Language and Literature, Creative Writing…but then something clicked. Journalism. I had been an editor of the school’s magazine – Banter and I enjoyed it. I’d also been on TV once on the news so that was another reason. But my main reason was of course because I loved writing.
Coming back to journalism has affirmed that it is the right career for me. In some way it may show that it was meant to happen?
There have also been other inklings that have helped me on setting this as a career path.
Since starting the course in September, I’ve thrown myself into everything. Well almost everything. I’ve gotten involved with all but one of the Media Hub publications and I’ve put myself forward for opportunities – most recently an interview with Natalie Bennett (fingers crossed!). On the Social Work course, I didn’t feel like I was at university for anything else. I was there to do my course and that was it. On the journalism course there is A LOT more to get involved in. I’m there not only for my course, but for the Media Hub team and more.
I also feel I’ve improved a lot since starting the course ten weeks ago. I’ve become more confident in my abilities and I’m developing a thicker skin (no, not literally – metaphorically!). My skills have grown immensely and I can’t wait to develop more.
I feel at home running around, reacting to breaking stories and writing things up to deadline. It gives me such an adrenaline rush, like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I don’t mind the early morning starts or the late nights.
Covering events that matter to the city of Sunderland and the North East region is something that I’ve become enthused by too. You may have gathered that from my culture post I feel like I am part of the city and I feel like I should contribute to the city and its reputation.
I have a bigger part to play now – I can represent the city and events in writing. I couldn’t necessary do that within social work, to an extent. I’m still helping people but in a different way. I’m helping people tell their story on paper.
I did that before, in my childhood, but now the world can see what I write.
There are so many reasons why I feel journalism is the career for me and I don’t want to write them all down. Just know that I am committing this time. 110%.