Studying Journalism With an Anxiety Disorder

This past school year I’ve been really struggling about whether or not I had made the right choice. I really loved my first year, and I had good grades. For the most part I continued to get good grades, and I had gotten positive feedback on my writing, but I still really, really worried if journalism was for me after all.

Studying itself gives me a lot of stress and anxiety, but on top of that having to call people, arrange interviews, doing the interviews themselves etc. I’ve gotten used to it, sort of, but the anxiety I feel before calling people and before the interviews themselves, has never gone away. And I feared that it never will.

My main character from my current WIP also has anxiety and is considering studying journalism, but is afraid his anxiety will get in the way. While I wondered this as well before making my decision, I wasn’t struggling with it as much as Yong-sun is in his senior year. I’m struggling with it now, at the brink of my third year. While this also gave me anxiety, it also really, really helped me. Because I decided to google ‘anxiety and journalism’. Which I could’ve done without writing about Yong-sun, but I didn’t think of it. I didn’t think of looking up journalists who also have an anxiety-disorder. Reading articles from journalists who face the same problems I do, really, really helped me. Am I still scared? You bet ya

But if other journalists can do it, then maybe I can do it too

Are you worried that your anxiety will get in the way of your goals? Has your writing/characters ever helped you in a moment like this? Let me know in the comments!

First Term of Journalism

Hey guys! So yesterday the first term officially ended with the presentation of our magazine. I can’t believe how fast it went by! Anyway, when I started I said I’d write a post about my experience so far, so here it is!

One half of all the freshman started with Culture and Lifestyle and the other started with ‘News’. I started with the first one, so I can’t tell you anything about the latter yet. Culture and Lifestyle mainly focusses on ‘soft journalism’: magazines. Every term we have three subjects. This term’s subjects were: Interview, First Issue and Human and Media.

Interview
Needless to say we were taught how to properly interview someone and had to interview a few people ourselves. This was my least favourite subject, mainly because I felt like I didn’t learn much. I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything at all, but looking back I just don’t feel like I know a lot more about interviewing than I already did. This subject was also the most stressful as we had to find someone, interview them and write the interview in a very short time a few times.
Interview also consisted of lessons on ‘speech’, but I really didn’t learn anything at all in those classes. I tend to talk fast when I get nervous and my articulation isn’t always spectacular either, so I really hoped I’d learn how to improve that. While she did give advice on how to stop the nerves, they didn’t really help.

First Issue
I’ve already talked a bit about First Issue, but I never named it! The magazine we made was for this subject. I feel like I learned the most from this subject. I learned so much about magazines and I look at them with a completely new eye! Also thinking up an original concept for a magazine that doesn’t exist yet (in The Netherlands) is hard. It was a lot of fun to write articles and though editing other people’s articles isn’t always fun, I really had a great time with my fellow editors. Here’s a hug for you guys (not that they’ll read this haha)

Of course First Issue wasn’t just writing articles, we had to design them as well. So we had one hour every week in which we learned how to work with Adobe inDesign. I’m happy to say I can sort of work with it haha. But I won’t need it for the rest of the year I believe, so I’ll be clueless again next year! Designing articles was fun when I knew how I wanted my article to look, if not:

Human and Media
Woah almost wrote it in Dutch haha. I’m very used to call it ‘mens en media’ (‘interview’ is the same word in Dutch and ‘First Issue’ is the actual name. Probably because it just sounds better in English haha). Anyway! While I found Human and Media very interesting, I’m glad it’s over. We had work groups, but we didn’t really do much during those hours. It wasn’t really boring though, the teacher was nice and everyone had to hold presentations, most of which were fun to watch (one group held a quiz and now we don’t trust this girl with lollipops anymore haha. Whenever someone got a question right they’d get a lollipop, but the way she threw them…). The lectures were more interesting; they were divided in ‘human’ and ‘media’. Though the ‘human’ part was interesting, I already knew a lot of the information thanks to having followed social sciences in secondary school. The ‘media’ part was… Well, it was interesting, but the teacher just didn’t help. While the woman who gave lectures about the ‘human’ part just stuck to the point, he was the complete opposite (the ‘human’ teacher even made a joke about that). Also he liked to promote his own work a lot. The test was multiple choice and really easy though (I don’t have my grade yet, so maybe it wasn’t easy haha. Wait, that’s no laughing matter).

Anyway, so far studying journalism is fun and stressful. It’s a lot of work and not every teacher really explains everything, but hey, that’s education right? I’m a lot happier at this school than at my previous one. I feel like my class is an actual class, unlike my previous ones. I like the subjects (when I said that interview was my least favourite subject, I didn’t mean I disliked it! Well, I kind of did, but not because of the subject itself haha) and they’re useful. I know that everything I learn, I’ll need later on in life. Plus, if I get sick of a subject, I only have to take it for a few more weeks and then BOOM the term is over and it’s time for new subjects. If you have any questions about studying journalism, feel free to ask! I’m happy to help (though of course I don’t know everything yet either!)

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