Why Joining Journalism Rocks

Kayla Spear, Writer

At the end of my eighth grade year I went up to the high school—the large, intimidating jungle that I was destined to venture to the following year. CAP conferences were that day and my fellow upcoming freshman and I had to select our fates for the next year. I was down to one elective, and I saw “Intro to Journalism” which to me sounded much more intriguing to me than  “Financial Literature.” (No offense to the teachers and students that pursue this class.) The teacher who aided me in selecting my classes clearly knew absolutely nothing about the course, but since the written description of the course had me sold before his shaky explanation did, I checked the box next to it. On my first day of high school, I wasn’t sure on what to expect.

Fast forward to the end of my junior year. It’s CAP conference time and before I check any other class for my last year of high school routine, I check Journalism IV. Why? Because the class has encompassed almost every single piece of enjoyment high school has provided me. Journalism has created bonds between me and my teacher, people within the class that I wouldn’t have been friends with otherwise, and has grown me as a person so immensely.

The newspaper portion of Journalism is so much fun. Not only does it allow me to express thoughts that I have, it allows me to expand my horizons and to inform other people. Writing allows me to express myself creatively. Editorials provide me the opportunity to upload social commentary, which is my favorite thing to write about. I can write what’s on my mind and how I feel about certain topics, and it’s accessible to the whole school. The most exciting part of journalism is the discussions it generates. Due to something I have sculpted in my opinionated brain, the floor is now open for safe debate. I love hearing other people’s perspectives in order to grow within myself, and journalism allows me to do that more than anything else does. Interviewing people who are genuinely invested in things provides more insight than anything else does in the world. Observing and recording the amount of passion, or the lack thereof, which different people hold within different subjects makes journalism more inspiring. It provides genuine human interaction and connection that I would have never experienced otherwise. Journalism has molded me from being shy into a more outgoing and willing person. I’m no longer scared to interview others or to ask someone else’s opinion on a topic—a feat deemed impossible my freshman year is now a daily venture within my comfort zone.

The yearbook sector of Journalism is probably my favorite because it encompasses everything that the newspaper does– interviews, discussions, informing, creativity, vision—but it goes a step further. You get to publish memories in books that people keep forever. The yearbook team is taking down memories of the school, current events and trends, and smiling faces to publish and preserve that year’s history. Staying after school and coming up on the weekends with all of the yearbook team and pizza and music makes it so worth it. It’s so exciting to build the book and to know what’s going to be in it. A picture is worth a thousand words, and the yearbook encompasses the whole story of the year. Getting quotes from people has allowed me to meet others and see things they are involved in. The best part, obviously, is when the book comes out. Seeing the faces of your peers light up at things that you have created is so moving.

The community and the growth within yourself that is formed within room 119 are so exciting and refreshing. Consider signing up! It’s never too late to start something new or to broaden your horizons. There are so many jobs that you can take on as a part of the yearbook staff: writing, photography, formatting, interviewing, photoshopping, ads and sales, tech stuff. You never know what doors it could open up for you!

Join the yearbook and newspaper class by signing up for Intro to Journalism when choosing classes for the upcoming school year, or talk to Mr. Horton in room 119 for details.