As an opportunist, I naturally take chances when I see them in order to grow and prosper–and that also applies to my love for writing. What I didn’t know was that by the beginning of 2019, I would enter a writing contest to become an even greater writer with College Magazine. If my writing sample got accepted, I could turn my own words into an article that over 925,000 monthly readers would come across.
At the end of it all, I happily became part of College Magazine’s team as a staff writer, where I would produce my own weekly articles for all to read. Not just your regular health, beauty, or celebrity magazine, College Magazine provides a unique platform where college students look to other students for tips and insights into college life.
More importantly, College Magazine gave me a voice that allowed me to strive to become the best writer, as well as the chance to make others feel like they are not so alone in their experiences. Not only did I get the ability to put something so valuable onto my resume, but I worked really hard crafting my articles with all the editors who made it possible for me to believe in myself. I learned how to work with looming deadlines, create and take positive feedback, express my own voice, and stimulate my brain–all the while inspiring other students in the process.
Here is how it all started.
One day, I hopped on a call with my editor where she taught me the ropes to learn the insides of CM as well as how to work with others on the team to produce content. Over the next few days, I got articles assigned to me in order to improve my writing on topics that ranged from “CM’s Guide to the Creative Writing Major,” “24 things to do in New York City in 24 hours,” and “3 Practices That Helped Me Change My Perspective Forever.”
Eventually, my writing improved so that it was clear and concise enough to publish.
I noticed that when reading the articles that I felt most drawn to, I loved the ones that had a conversational spark in them–ones where it seemed like a friend was talking to me. I also loved reading articles that had spunk and humor (mostly humor) in them. So as I developed, I realized I wanted to recreate those same qualities in my writing. I loved working with an editor as we talked about how I could make my writing flow and come to life on the page.
My work would not have been so excellent if it weren’t for her positive feedback and diligent work. Some days proved harder than others, but it all was worth it. I got to share all of my work with my family, friends, and peers. Week after week for about 12 weeks, I produced 12 timely and beautiful pieces that many people enjoyed and got their own uses out of as well.
College, for me, mirrored gaining experience with College Magazine.
Each took a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve my goals as a writer. From freshman year all through senior year, English majors at Florida State University take classes that intertwine into different genre classes like “Fiction Workshop” or “Poetry Technique” to really give writers a feel for what kind of genres they truly enjoy writing. I learned what I liked to write about just as much as I learned what I don’t want to write about. I think everyone has a similar point where they finally discover what sparks a passion in them, but it definitely takes time to discover the true identity of this spark. The same goes for writing for a magazine. You understand what you want to write, what makes your writing better, and why you do it in the first place.
Some people never discover this spark until really late. I, on the other hand, became really lucky that I discovered my passion soon in life.
The college itself offers a new and exciting step to grow as an individual. You find the friends that will stay with you forever, the major that will change your trajectory in life and the memories that become permanent. In college, I learned that for any writer, everything around you is art, and you, in fact, are also art. No paint can lighten your shade and every blank canvas has the ability to become a masterpiece. After all, all writers want to do in this world is make something beautiful out of something so plain. This major gives me life and allows me to paint any picture I want to.
Experiences like this one have helped me grow not only as a writer but as a person.
I believe that a small spark of an interest can lead to an even greater opportunity to make this interest your very best. Now, my journey has come to an end with College Magazine, but my writing will live on forever. I am now graduating from FSU and moving on to pursue an MBA with a concentration in Marketing. I know the passion I have for writing will be a great tool for my academia in the future as well as job opportunities. Looking back and leaving history is not a goodbye, but more like a see you later. Thank you College Magazine, for allowing my voice to shine as it touches me and many other students in the process.