Three tips for a college journalist/journalism major

Although I’ve been a college journalism major for less than a year, I’ve had plenty of experiences and many mentors to guide me through the ins and outs of being a student journalist at Mizzou. There is more to being a student at the top J-school in the nation than just AP style and rule of thirds. Today I share with you my top four tips on being the best j-major you can be. When you're done reading, watch the video at the bottom of the post for a short introduction to what journalism FIGs are like at the University of Missouri.

1. DO FREELANCE

Being in college and away from an environment close to home present a unique opportunity to report on stories completely foreign to you. Take this opportunity and run with it. Not every piece your produce or article you write needs to be for a class or club. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he says that it takes around ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. So, the more work you do, the better you will be. Start a blog to share your work. Someday, you can turn this into a professional online portfolio for potential employers to see or just a record of your growth as a journalist.

2. MAKE USE OF RESOURCES ON CAMPUS

Did you know that you can rent umbrellas from the journalism library? Or that you can check out monopods from the equipment lab? Or that you can rent out business professional clothes for your next internship interview? Or that, after a stressful day of filming, you can use the massage chair in the Wellness Center for 15 minutes? All of these resources on campus are free and can contribute to not only your academic and career success, but also your overall wellbeing.

3. JOIN BOTH JOURNALISM AND NON-JOURNALISM ACTIVITIES

The only journalism-related activity I’m in is being a creative designer for MUTV, Mizzou’s student run TV program. Other than that, I am a member of the Student Unions Programming Board, Outreach, the Asian American Association and more. My other activities provide a much needed outlet of relief away from all things journalism. You don’t want to get burnt out on journalism, so while it is important to be involved and hone your trade, it is even more important to maintain a healthy balance.