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August 29th, 2013 02:56 PM #11
I'm a freelance writer...at the moment I do a weekly feature for a paper and web/brochure copy as well as ghostwriting. I have both clients that need that minimalistic style and those that prefer "flowery." I think one of the biggest things you'll learn at university is how to cater your writing style to the job. You will need a tough skin as you learn to take edits/feedback. It can be disheartening, but it comes with the territory both in school and when your editor sends something back to you with half of it crossed out. It happens to us all and sometimes you have to step back and disconnect your work from your self worth or you'll lose it.
Bottom line: the same things that make you a good creative writer can make you an excellent journalist, but you have to know how to make that shift. The formula becomes second nature after awhile, especially in a program like the one you're entering.
I'm just getting back to work post baby now, but feel free to message me if you have other questions or want to chat about writing.
August 29th, 2013 03:02 PM #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
Starting Uni in a few days myself.. Haven't had time to read the whole thread. I will reply more later.. But I'm wondering where you are in Canada? I am also starting at a well known University in Canada
Like East Coast? Ontario? West Coast?
Edit: Now that I have read through I would advice you that nothing is set in stone. Go in with an open mind and remind yourself that you can always switch things up to suit you better. My friend is in Journalism (might be the same University as you, actually) and loves it. She has a great mix of very structured pieces that she has to write as well as opinion pieces that allow more of her own writing style to come out.
Even if you find that this course doesn't suit you, switching majors is not a huge deal- it happens a lot and from stories from friends I can conclude that it usually leads to people discovering what they really want to do!
As for grades, you will have to work way harder in University. All my friends (they started last year as I took a year off) have said it is very different from high school. I also have noticed that some people just thrive in University. My friend who got so-so marks in high school is doing amazing, on the other hand my friend who is used to having a 95% average is getting a bit of reality. Don't stress too much about it. Work hard and it will pay off. Go for extra help, get to know your TA's and professors. Use the help and guidance that is available for you!
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August 29th, 2013 03:38 PM #15Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
I wouldn't be too worried about University. Enter it with an open mind.
Since you chose your major from the beginning and are attending a University that has a great program in Journalism, you'll be taught by excellent professors and be surrounded by passionate students. Don't compare yourself to the other students. University is about your development. It's all about becoming a more well rounded person.
Look at the marks as them trying to take your unique style and guiding into the journalism niche. You may find that you don't want to confined to a certain genre.
Journalism may not be for you because you don't like being concise. The journalism major is good to have because as long as the world goes round there will be stories that people will want to hear. Journalism isn't only about conciseness and learning to be professional. You'll learn about international affairs, didn't viewpoints in politics and religion. You'll see the world in a different way. You'll appreciate the writers of the Telegraph even more.
After graduating you can write a novel, an advice column, or run a blog. You don't have to use your Journalism way in the intended way.
I would take a deep breath and realize that University is an experience that will give you more experience, maturity, and a better direction for what you want to do. It's always easier to know what you want than what you don't want. Your University accepted you, they want you, the BELIEVE in YOU. That you are capable of greatness. They know that at the beginning it will be a difficult adjustment, but before you know it, you won't even remember what you were so afraid about. It's like jumping into a pool. It's scary and cold at first, but after a while it's warm, you don't know what you were afraid of, and you don't want to leave.
I wish you the best of luck and don't forget to breath.
August 29th, 2013 06:49 PM #17
Before I started junior high, then before high school, then before college, I heard the same messages. Things are different! The work is a lot harder and your grades may drop! Teachers won't be as easy on you! You won't know anyone! It's like, jeez, yes,(of course) it will be different, but I think it's always blown up to be more than it is. If you take it seriously and keep up on things, you will be fine, I promise.
I hear you on the different styles of writing. I am very good at technical, research-y writing, but I hate it! I much prefer the creative side, but if you are good at one type, you will probably be fine at another. You have the fundamentals and the skill, which not everyone has.
August 29th, 2013 08:15 PM #19
Your grades might drop. Mine did. I was an all A student in high school and my first semester of university I got more B's than A's. In my case, it wasn't necessarily the amount of work so much as the social distractions that got me. Nevertheless, I just barely scraped honors when I graduated. But here's what I've learned since then: no one cares what grades you got in college. No one has asked to see my transcript or talk to my professors.
I work part-time as a freelance writer. What my various clients want to see is that I have the ability to write. Your portfolio is going to say far more than the grades you received in your various university classes. Yes, you need to do reasonably well because your work will need to reflect that you're learning something, but don't sweat it if your grades drop a bit. In my experience, it's not going to matter later!
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