I never knew I wanted to be a writer. I always loved creative writing exercises and language arts classes through elementary, middle and high school but never thought twice about writing as a hobby outside of school assignments. Because I always pushed this love of writing to the side and prioritized other commitments, I was sort of a late bloomer at The Daily Campus. My professor encouraged me as a senior journalism major to join The Daily Campus for a sense of camaraderie and to grow as a writer. I was scared at first, because I did not have an interest in writing on breaking news stories, politics or the government. These are stories that I primarily believed formed the entirety of The Daily Campus, but I was gladly mistaken.
Writing for the Life section has allowed me to grow as a journalist by working under deadlines and pitching stories to my editors, but also has taught me that all news is important. What’s the point of reading the news if there are no moments of happiness sprinkled into the dark world we live in? Reporting on breaking news stories or tragedies such as the Ukrainian War and the wildfires in Australia is necessary in keeping the public informed, but writing on the best upcoming summer authors or recapping a new Netflix show is important too. Positive news keeps the public hopeful that there is still good out there in the world, and takes peoples’ minds off of their own stressful lives.
That is all I have ever wanted as a writer throughout my time at The Daily Campus: to make people feel happy. Sure, I can use my journalistic skills to report on topics such as COVID-19 or issues in the UConn community, but why not use my witty writing style to create a column about all things coffee or write about the best farmer’s markets in Connecticut? The editors of the Life section not only encourage their writers to cover events happening at UConn, but to write lifestyle articles on any topic they want as long as it has news value.
So, if you want to become a pop-culture writer, just know that you are still a journalist no matter what news stories you produce. Your writing talent is not lesser than anyone else’s because their stories focus on hard news and yours do not. Get out there and review new local restaurants or coffee shops, do social media research on the cheapest places to travel this summer or just use your talents to talk about your favorite author. Those stories are so important and people do read them, otherwise Cosmopolitan or Buzzfeed would be out of business.
My short and sweet experience at The Daily Campus has been rich because I did not confine myself to the kind of reporting I thought I should do, but rather allowed myself to report on what I wanted to do. My words of wisdom as a washed up graduating senior is that you should not wait to do the same.