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#GoodbyeTNS - You've been such a big part of my life

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As The National Student closes its doors at the end of the week, current Advice Editor Emily D'Souza tells us what the platform means to her.

The closure of The National Student made me realise just how big of a part of my life it is.

The first piece I ever wrote was a review of James Bay. That summer I pushed myself to write as many articles as I possibly could. I was constantly writing in between my waitressing job – covering topics from music features and reviews to more personal pieces on anxiety, diabetes, arthritis and other advice articles.

As the number of views on my pieces started to increase, more opportunities came my way. My friends at university couldn’t believe some of the opportunities that I was taking on: I was writing so many articles alongside my degree work too. I started to review gigs in Bristol, interviewed some artists that I love, and I even became the honorary ‘mental health correspondent’. After encouragement from other editors, I decided to apply for Assistant Music Editor but did not get the job.

The rejection was hard. I was heartbroken. I felt as if all of my hard work was for nothing. I remember feeling pretty embarrassed after crying to Camille about it over the phone. But I learnt how to pick myself up, because, at the time, I simply wasn’t ready,

So I started writing a number of time-consuming but hard-hitting interviews ranging from rugby players to comedians to several mental health advocates and even the CEO of The Mix. I was absolutely elated to be asked to be Advice Editor.

Being Advice Editor really allowed me to come into my stride and was perfectly suited to me. The series that I orchestrated for mental health awareness week remains one of my proudest achievements; we had so many engagements from charities and on social media. I encouraged my contributors to be honest and candid.

I channelled this myself when I found the confidence to pitch a piece on hypochondria for HuffPost USA. It was hard and I kept doubting myself. But once the piece was published, I became flooded with messages of support from strangers all over the world.

I have had such a journey with The National Student. Not only has my writing improved but I have also found my style and strengths. Above all, I have learnt to be confident in my own abilities. I could not have asked for a better support network, particularly from editors Lucy, Camille, Caitlin and even James, the founder. Camille and Lucy have been nurturing whilst pushing me to achieve my full potential; Caitlin has become a friend.

The National Student team genuinely want every single student who contributes or edits for them to go far. The amount of insight I have received in the industry has been incredibly helpful and I know we all feel the same about this.

As The National Student comes to a close, with 82 articles and 132,000 views under my belt, I am also waving goodbye to the unconfident Emily who had no idea what she was capable of when she first started. I am now even editing a novel. The National Student has put together a network of students across the UK who are all passionate about writing. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it and to call them my friends too.




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