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Why you should write for your student newspaper

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If you’re looking for a fresh start at university, and you’re worried about making a huge commitment on extra-curricular activities, then you should think about writing for a student newspaper.

There are a lot of benefits to being Clark Kent; journalist by day and super-student by night. Here are just a few to give you an idea about what makes writing for your paper so great.

It’ll help you with your course

Let’s face it, you’re in university so that means that you’ll have to write essays or reports for your coursework. With writing and anything else, practice makes perfect! If you regularly write into the paper, even it’s just short pieces, you’ll be able to keep your mind active helping you to structure your work, fix your grammar and be far more accurate all year round.

You can find someone who has the same interests as you

The thing about writing is that you’ll be encouraged to write about something that you’re interested in. People love to hear a unique voice about something you’re passionate about.

If you are doing politics as your course and you feel engaged, then it’s best that you write about it! Or if you want to use writing to find an escape from school and you have a healthy interest in fashion or sports, then you’ll find that writing about something that you’re interested in will give you an outlet to explore and research all the things that you want to know about that particular topic.

When your work comes out, someone will read it too (you’re writing for people!). This is a great way to connect with others who may have the same interests as you, or get someone hooked onto that obscure band that only you've heard of.

There are opportunities to get out there

One of the best parts of about being part of a writing outlet is that there are chances to go out to events with little or virtually no cost. These events are incredibly current, like going to pre-screenings of films that are not available to the public, attending and accessing press-only areas at music festivals, sports games, fashion shows and art shows. You’ll get to meet celebrities, other journalists, take photographs and understand the industry before you even graduate.

During university I attended several press conferences where I had a chance to be in the same room as Sir Ian McKellan (he had a green smoothie), Mark Ruffalo (a total gentleman), Russell Crowe (quite the talker) and Bella Thorne (surprisingly witty). But besides all the glamour of celebrities, I attended shows such as Shakespeare in Love, fantastic local theatre in Reading, celebrated the 90th anniversary at the university, shot many photos around the world, met so many incredibly lovely people and other outlets which I now write for after graduating.

Writing is flexible and doesn’t take a lot of time

 I don’t know any other hobby that allows you as much flexibility as writing does, where practicing doesn’t require you to do drills, follow melodic patterns or stretch your body into weird positions every week. You can work where you want, all you need is a notebook to scribble, laptop or even your phone. As long as you’ve got your head on right, you can get the job done.

You can also write when you want allowing you the choice to volunteer to work when you have the time, flowing in time with your coursework. If you feel that you’ve got a lot on your plate during exams and you don’t have time to take on something extra then don’t tackle it! Whereas if you’re a little bit bored in the summer and you want to do something a bit more fulfilling than working at Costa, then it would be the perfect time to get those fingers typing once again.

Writing gets you jobs

As far as extracurricular activities go, there isn’t one that is any more relevant and academic than writing for a paper. It’s quite an advancement if you’ve already got a head start in the working world, understand tight deadlines and think of an audience. Whatever it is that you do write about, you’ll be creating an array of work in your portfolio, be published and have had people read your work.

I don’t think there’s been a job interview that I’ve been at where they haven’t asked about my experience at the newspaper and what I’ve done there. Luckily, it is always an interesting point to talk that will make you stand out from the crowd compared to the other applicants.

Interested in writing for The National Student? Apply via our Media Hub here.




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