Worth every minute

Joining publications is a great way meet new people and learn new things in a different environment


After adviser Mike Klopfenstein and some former editors of The Journal came to talk to my eighth grade English class about joining publications, I went home thinking it wasn’t for me. I assumed Newspaper wouldn’t be the right fit, and I had a plethora of assumptions about how it would operate.

Eventually, I was convinced by a friend to at least give it a shot. Joining a publication turned out to be the best decision of my high school career, and I urge anyone looking for a place to belong, a fun environment or even just a new activity to try it out.

People from all interests, not just writing, have the ability to thrive in a publications room. There are positions across the spectrum, from photography to business to design. Speaking from my newspaper experience, I’ve known staff members who absolutely hated to write, but they found other ways to contribute to the team and make their skills valuable. Trust me when I say it’s not just for kids who like English.

Additionally, being a part of publications creates a family atmosphere I’ve never seen in other classes. There’s something so unifying about developing a published product together for others to see, and the camaraderie is contagious. Many of my most cherished memories from high school took place in Room 400 during Production Nights. We’d be there till 7:30 at night, not even done with our other homework, but still content and lighthearted (albeit a little fatigued). It’s pretty amazing when teenagers are not only willing but happy to stay late into the evening for a school-sponsored activity. Well, maybe we weren’t exactly happy about it, but we were having a good time nonetheless.

Publications aren’t just fun, though. They are also extremely beneficial in terms of transferable skills. And no, I’m not just referring to skills for college, which is what a lot of people mean when they advocate for students to take A.P., dual credit or advanced classes. Publications can actually be helpful in the workplace, offering students the opportunity to experience a real-life environment. The workflow, the chain of command, the deadlines — it’s all part of what students would see in their careers later on. Learning how to communicate with superiors, address conflict productively and be accountable within the safety net of a classroom is invaluable. I’ve watched myself and others in my newspaper class become more mature and reliable just by being a part of the team.

The next time you have a hole to fill in your schedule, or your parents want you to get more involved, consider joining a publications class, whether it be yearbook, newspaper, broadcast or a different form. My experience with The Journal has helped me grow, gain confidence, become a leader and make friends I’ll never forget. What it will do for you, I can’t say. I can assure you, however, that publications will be worth your while.