Writing an article for The Temple News was completely new for me. Although I had experience writing stories and interviewing people for my Writing and Reporting class, freelancing was the first time that people other than myself and the professor would be reading my articles.
On Sept. 28, I decided to write for The Temple News – I couldn’t spend another semester complaining about wanting experience while refusing to take action.
As a junior, I feel like I’m behind regarding career-related experience because of my late start getting involved in clubs.
The Temple News was my first time joining a club related to my journalism major where I could practice my writing and reporting skills.
Despite frequently going to meetings, it took me a while to build up courage to take a pitch from my editor. I was worried about failing or not writing the article correctly, but I couldn’t let my self-doubt stop me.
It was time for me to get out there, I needed to put real experience on my resume, other than the experience I acquired through classes.
After I picked up a pitch, I walked out of the newsroom with a smile on my face. Picking up a pitch and writing my own story felt great, I could speak what was on my mind and show I have what it takes to become a great journalist.
I had an adrenaline rush for the rest of the night. I posted on social media asking students if they would be willing to do an interview, and researched the midterm report system professors use to indicate students’ progress.
By Friday, things weren’t going well for me. There was only one student who confirmed they would be interested in an interview, and another student who seemed intrigued about the idea, but didn’t confirm they wanted to talk to me.
I needed to submit my story with at least three interviews by the following Tuesday. Because I only had one interview scheduled going into the weekend, I started to doubt myself. I was afraid my article wouldn’t be published.
My editor told me I could walk up to students on campus and ask if they would like to be interviewed, but my social anxiety and fear of being rejected stopped me.
I’ve always been a shy person, and I wasn’t used to talking to people I didn’t know, so the idea of talking to students on campus that I didn’t know was uncomfortable.
I didn’t know what to do. I had to decide between writing the story despite not having three interviews, or quitting.
I wanted to cut the story completely. I thought giving up would be easier and I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed and pressured to finish the story.
But I didn’t give up, I knew it would only push me further back from reaching my full potential. Eventually, I would regret not having the story published and I would resent myself for not finishing what I started.
Although one of the reasons why I joined The Temple News was to get more experience with reporting, I also joined because I loved to write. Since the seventh grade, I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in journalism.
And now that I was so close to making it, I couldn’t give up.
I overcame my feelings of doubt and failure by imagining my name and very first article published in the newspaper – a start to my future career.
I imagined my family and friends applauding me for my huge accomplishment. I could see my article being framed and placed on our mantlepiece for everyone to see.
As I envisioned it all, I was filled with excitement, just like when I picked up a pitch. With that excitement, I posted again on social media, scheduled the other two interviews I needed and finished my article.
Finally, after another long week of editing, my very first article was published in The Temple News on Oct. 12. The first thing I did was share it on my social media for my friends and family to see.
My family applauded me like I imagined. My parents bragged to their friends, telling them how I wrote an article for Temple’s student newspaper. My family shared my story on Facebook and congratulated me. The praise encouraged me to pick up more pitches for The Temple News.
Writing my first article was challenging but in a good way. Although I was nervous about getting out of my comfort zone, it helped me build more confidence in myself and my work.