My experience with journalism began when I was a junior at Greensburg Salem High School. I took my first journalism class that year, which was basically an introductory course. My teacher taught us the history of journalism, along with the basics of writing different types of articles and stories. Our biggest project was a personality profile; I wrote mine about my mom’s friend from Honduras. This was my first real experience with interviewing, writing a story and meeting a deadline. I enjoyed the assignment, which inspired me to continue with journalism in high school.
My senior year, I took journalism both semesters, this time becoming an official staff member of our school newspaper, The Lions’ Den. Our staff was relatively small; we had five members the first semester and four the second semester. However, we all worked well together to brainstorm article ideas. For each issue, all of us had to write one or two articles, which we then gave to our teacher to approve. We also had to take pictures to correspond with our articles. While one of my classmates did the layout for the paper the first semester, I ended up learning how to do it for the second semester. Overall, I enjoyed being able to spend my entire senior year working on the school newspaper. I gained a lot of knowledge from working with my teacher for two years that I think will be valuable as I continue to pursue my interest in journalism.
Other than journalism, I took creative writing courses during my junior and senior years. My school also requires that all students complete a senior project. Due to my love for writing and wanting a challenge, I ended up writing a memoir about my experiences in marching band for my project. I think being able to do both creative writing and journalism strengthened my writing skills, and I really enjoyed all of the writing that I was able to do throughout high school.