Struggling to choose an elective for next year? Try journalism


Natalie Rowland, Editor-in-Chief

“What right guaranteed by the First Amendment is most important to you?” That was the question that I had to ask 5 people just a few weeks into my freshman year. I’ve always been an extrovert, but I still got nervous talking to new people, especially when I would ask them personal questions, so to me this was extremely uncomfortable for many reasons. First, this was not the type of question that people ordinarily discuss. Second, I was a freshman that had to go out and interview students in each grade, which was intimidating because most of the students I was interviewing were much older than me. Finally, I was still finding my place in the school, and going up to strangers to ask them questions was not something I was ready to do.

That question was an assignment for my beginning journalism class. We were just starting to study the press and its importance, plus trying out some basic interviewing skills. Getting through these first interviews was extremely challenging for me, but I did it. And because of this, I now can talk to anyone without feeling uncomfortable at all. I don’t get nervous when talking to my school principals or even our superintendent. I feel extremely comfortable around adults now so when I had to do an interview to get into a physician assistant program for a college, I was not nervous or uncomfortable at all. As I plan to become a physician assistant, being able to talk to people without feeling uncomfortable will be an extremely useful skill to have in the future. 

Journalism is the most beneficial class I took in high school. I believe everyone should take a journalism class at least once in their lives. The leadership, teamwork, communication, and time management skills you learn through journalism are something that cannot be learned through anything else. You don’t have to go into a journalism career to benefit from taking a journalism class. Through your experience in journalism, you will learn some of the most valuable skills that will be beneficial in any career. I am majoring in health science and going on to become a physician assistant. Yet, the skills I learned through journalism will continue to benefit me daily as I work with my patients, coworkers, and bosses. Although I am not majoring in journalism, I plan to continue my journalism career on the newspaper staff at Butler University because I find value in everything I have learned through being a journalist and I hope to continue to grow in these skills. 

In my beginning journalism class, my love of journalism grew as I learned how to produce stories, take photos, and make graphics. From this class, I joined both yearbook and newspaper staff as I was unsure which one I would enjoy more. After my sophomore year, I committed entirely to Newspaper as I was named editor-in-chief of the paper. Being a part of Newspaper has given me some pretty cool opportunities including being on the field at Lucas Oil stadium and on the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as our team was playing. 

My favorite memory from the newspaper is when our girls basketball team won the state championship game. I remember the rush of excitement I felt as I took the photo that would be featured on our front cover. I then hectically rushed back to our school to welcome the team home with the other students. It was definitely the most exciting moment I’ve experienced on staff. The next 48 hours were extremely fast paced as we worked to change our issue into one that featured the girls basketball team. Between interviews, a redesign of the paper, and sorting through thousands of photos, this was definitely the biggest challenge I ever took on. From this though, my leadership, communication, and teamwork skills grew tremendously and have continued to be useful as I balance being editor-in-chief of the paper and maintaining good grades.

That is why I would encourage everyone to take a journalism class at least once in high school. If you are looking for an elective to take next year, consider joining the yearbook, newspaper, or Cat’s Eye staff. I promise you will not regret your choice and that you will appreciate the skills you learned through journalism in whatever you chose to do in the future.