T’was the night before Coursemas


WELL, it’s the evening before I start the course. I’ve been slowly trying to work through the essays I’ve been putting off over Easter through the day, and to be honest I still have a hell of  a lot to do. This week is going to be pretty intense, as I still have three essays hanging over me, which I’ll have to do alongside shorthand practice (post on shorthand to come this week, once I’ve started the lessons) and presumably I’ll have to carry on reading the textbooks.

It feels weird to be quite excited about starting a new educational endeavour. Normally I get that all-too-familiar feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach at the end of a holiday, when you resign yourself to weeks of effort and motivation and concentration… not to mention the exhaustion that comes with it. Especially with university; nothing can make me feel worse than reaching the end of three weeks off, and being bundled onto a train back to London, where I have to feign interest in a subject I really do have no interest in. In a way, I fear this course might only draw attention to the disparity between where my interests lie and where my course wants my interests to lie.

I’ve been thinking recently about what I want to achieve, eventually. In the short term, I think it goes without saying that I want to complete this NCTJ course to as high a standard as possible… no revelations there. In terms of journalism, though, I think I might quite like to revisit a couple the subjects I studied at A-level, as dull as that sounds. I studied English Language, Economics, Geography and Geology (the latter to AS level), and I’d like to be able to use my knowledge of Geography and Economics in some pieces. As part of my Economics course, we had to keep an ‘Economics diary’ where we had to do little write-ups of local and national stories relating to the economy. This was obviously right up my street, and I’d love to do this kind of thing again. Obviously I’m no real economist, but I feel that having a basic grounding will come in useful when looking at business trends, reasons for business failure, consumer buying patterns etc.

I need to collect up all my things and introduce them to The Bag of Doom later (so called because IT’S A NIGHTMARE. I have no idea what’s in there, and I’ve no desire to empty it and find out.) This means hunting down a memory stick, finding my address book (currently my only contact is my mum, whose mobile number had to be Tippexed out after I got it wrong), collecting pens from around the house, relocating the shorthand and reporter’s notebooks I bought a couple of months ago… I’m scared. I really am. I have to do well in this. So many people have told me I’ll struggle to keep up with this, whilst also being halfway through a degree. The difference is though, I want to do this. This is my way of turning around the fact I panicked my way into a degree I hate, and doing something I thought I’d never be able to do.

Anyway, please wish me luck! Tomorrow is going to be a hugely exciting day, and by the looks of our timetable we’re going into it full pelt! I have lessons on reporting in the morning, and shorthand (eek) in the afternoon. Really very frightened of shorthand, but obviously I’ll let you know how it all goes. Also, it means I’ll officially be able to call myself a trainee journalist, and ditch the ‘soon-to-be’… which just feels weird! I remember first telling people I wanted to be a journalist an entire decade ago, so the fact I’m hours away from starting on that journey feels bizarre. But in a good way.

See you on the other side!



5 Comments Add yours

  1. easy AJ says:

    Good luck with your NCTJ course! It sounds very interesting. So how long is the course gonna be?

    1. Hello! Thank you! It’s 15 weeks long; the first 14 consist of the core modules, i.e. shorthand, production journalism, reporting, media law and public affairs, and week 15 is an optional magazine journalism week 🙂 We’re also given three weeks of work experience!

      1. easy AJ says:

        That’s brilliant! Do you know what kind of journalist you want to be? 🙂 x

      2. I’d like to do feature writing eventually, though some straightforward reporting would be nice first to set me up for all kinds of journalism! I’m hoping this course will point me in the direction of something specific 🙂 Are you considering journalism then?

      3. easy AJ says:

        I plan to study at a liberal arts college in the US, and I’d probably double major in pre-law and politics, with minor in journalism. Good luck with your course, and please do update your blogs regularly, I’m following you! 🙂 xx

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