Back in the swing of things

So as you might recall, I spent just about every waking moment last semester in the Columbia Missourian newsroom. Hilarity ensued, but by and large, it was a semester where I worked myself crazy. But in a good way.

This semester, with just the very first day of classes as a reference, I can tell this is going to be a much different experience. I’m a bit on the fence, you could say.

Not only am I back to academia, so to speak, but I am facing this semester with many friends abroad, a new beat, 18 extra hours of free time per week and a shiny new Illinois-issued-21-and-over driver’s license. I am having to transition into a completely different mindset.

And so far, it’s hard.

The Pros:

I still have my twice-weekly ACE shifts in the newsroom, and I take class there (plus beat meetings and general hanging out). Since it’s a place a love working in with people I love working with, I know I won’t be a stranger.

My new beat is absolutely adorable, and I can’t help but love watching them jump into reporting like I did last year…and I can’t believe it’s been that long since I started at the Missourian. I was thrilled entering the newsroom for orientation, and truth be told, I was sad when I realized I wouldn’t be there as often.

I’m excited to celebrate my free time with friends and enjoy being of age. More free time means more (much-deserved) social time, and I am certainly not complaining about getting my weekends back this semester.

The Cons:

While last semester was essentially a full-time job, this semester I am a student once more with no staff classes, but classes requiring outrageous things such as weekly reading, exams and papers. It probably sounds trite, but coming from the last four months where I ate, lived, breathed and bled newsroom, I am having trouble going back to notes-homework-test mode.

My economics and journalism classes seem fascinating so far, but the overwhelming sense of having to plan assignments and keep track of quizzes is already starting to grate on me. If anyone is wondering, my schedule consists of…

  • Health Economics 4357 (Writing Intensive…which strikes me as funny because it feels like my whole life is writing intensive)
  • Multimedia Planning and Design J4502
  • International Economics 3224
  • General Semantics in Journalism J4738
  • Supplemental Senior Seminar in Economics 4791
  • Interviewing Essentials J4148

My weekly newsroom time has shrunk considerably, and while this could do wonders for my mental health, I’m afraid it will take somewhat of a toll of my ability to keep up with goings-on in the newsroom and form relationships with my beat and other colleagues.

I’m also adjusting to having some close friends leave the country to study abroad, so people I used to vent to and confide in are an ocean away.

The Conclusion:

I’m not sure where I stand yet with all this, and while I apologize that this was not the most insightful or interesting blog post, maybe other students-turned-journalists-turned-students can relate.

Readers, (if you’re out there) any advice on how to stay motivated and get back into a more school-focused routine? I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but some tips would definitely be welcome.


One thought on “Back in the swing of things

  1. Sorry I’ve got no advice for you (somehow I managed to blend academic and journalism classes pretty evenly throughout my semesters), but the “writing intensive” comment is so true. I don’t even notice when classes are writing intensive anymore, because they just feel like what I’m doing in the rest of my life.

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