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#Goodbye TNS - From sex to travel, the writing possibilities were endless


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As The National Student closes its doors at the end of the week, old Advice Editor and current contributor Becca Barnes tells us what the platform means to her.


As I think back on my time at The National Student, the words that come to mind are ‘the beginning’.

Prior to writing for the platform, my only experience had been writing for my university’s entertainment magazine, and only online at that. It felt safe and comfortable, writing reviews on television shows and theatre performances which only the students at Southampton would be likely to read. The National Student seemed completely different. It was a nationwide publication, ranging from politics to advice or film. The possibilities seemed endless, which was both exciting and terrifying. And if I’m honest, it took me a while to build up the courage to apply.

In my second year at university I was shy and awkward, with little experience writing and no confidence in my ability to do so, well. I loved to write, but doubted the power in my words, as I suspected that my articles reached few outside my own circle. The first time I heard of The National Student was during a discussion with a colleague at another of my university’s magazines. It sounded like a professional magazine, and I could not believe that students like me could apply. I checked the website that very evening but did not find the courage to apply for another month or so. My self-confidence was so low that I was convinced I would be rejected immediately. I was just another student trying to get started in journalism, after all. Who would want me? The National Student, apparently.

It seems unimaginable that I was so self-conscious and insecure just three years ago. I credit The National Student with giving me the confidence to do a lot of the things. From interviewing YouTube star Grace Victory, to being published in print editions of the magazine, and even becoming Advice section Editor, there are so many experiences I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. It would never have been possible just a few years ago.

Perhaps my favourite part about writing for The National Student has been the diverse opportunities available. As Advice Editor I wrote articles on health issues, sex, relationships, environmental issues, money and more. Additionally, I have written articles on travel and reviewed television shows and art exhibitions. There was never a box I had to fit into, and for this, I will be forever grateful.

As for doubting my writing, that is a thing of the past. As a contributor and editor at The National Student, I have seen my articles shared across multiple social media platforms, and have watched with (admittedly embarrassing) excitement the number of views on my articles skyrocketing from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand.

As of now, I have published 139 articles and had 381,670 views.

This platform has allowed me to grow and develop, offering not only unbelievable opportunities but also incomparable support. It was a gift when I needed one most. My greatest regret is that it will not be here for other new writers in the future.

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