The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

#SJW2024 – Why I love being a student journalist

“[It] provides me with an incredibly powerful emotional motivation.”

When I first stepped into the Journalism classroom, I was afraid. I’ve been notoriously bad with deadlines, and I wasn’t sure if my writing would measure up to the standards set before me. At the point we began to work on learning how to use cameras, my heart sank. I knew that what I’d learned from my photography class in middle school would be nowhere near enough to succeed in this class.

But then, despite everything I expected, I began to improve. Looking back, it’s clear that my own low self-esteem and self-doubt was holding back my potential as an editor. I began to take photos that I considered to be some of my favorites, and I started to see things in a whole different way. I could picture an environment and visualize its full potential in a photo

On the writing side of things, I was able to greatly improve my writing style in a short period of time. It became more fluid and readable. Lately I’ve even created articles that I’d consider some of my best work.  I’ve become able to construct a flow in my drafts that only need a few corrections.

Throughout this time, it had also been made clear to me that I would be supported, whether it be in my identity or my work

I genuinely cannot express how much this meant to me. Knowing that there’s a place where I can be unapologetically me, is something that can’t be measured in any form. I know that even if I struggle or make a mistake, I won’t be ostracized for it.

This provides me with an incredibly powerful emotional motivation.

The other people in Journalism also motivate me. Seeing their amazing work, I can’t help but want to try my hand at what they do. There’s some truly exceptional spreads, photos, and articles to be inspired from.

In summary, I was stricken with fear upon my arrival into Journalism. The sheer variety of new things we were needing to learn, and my belief in my own inadequacy, left me feeling like I couldn’t achieve much of anything. But, I was shown that I’d be supported in every way I could be throughout my time in the class. I feel like my new rise in self-confidence can be partially credited to this. I was shown that the world isn’t full of derision like I thought. It’s motivated me to keep on pushing to become the best editor I can be, and move forward in my skills. It’s given me hope that I can get the future that I want.

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