Firsts

Today, September 1, 2016, is a first in more terms than the date. It is the day of my first blog post, and also of my first official interview. If you don’t already know, I am a staff writer for my school newspaper, The Harbinger, but as a sophomore, it is my first year on the staff. Even though I felt quite intimidated at first – everyone seemed to know what to do and where they fit in, and there I was, completely lost – I also thought that I knew the basics of what to expect. Today, I learned that I was entirely wrong.

I’d interviewed someone before – recently for another one of my classes and last year due to a slight schedule mishap when I had the Journalism class for a short period – and though they had both been trainwrecks, this one was by far the worst. I was shuffling papers all over the place (most of which were blank), not really prepared in what I would ask, and I didn’t write anything down AT ALL.

Anyone can tell you that I’m  a mess on a normal day, but I’m usually not a nervous wreck. I noticed earlier in the day when I gave a presentation that I was anxious and the same was true during the interview. I found this odd because that only ever happens when I have to speak with people I’m not comfortable with, and for both instances this was not the case. After some reflection I realized what was the matter. The presentation wasn’t just any presentation and the interview wasn’t just any interview, they were firsts.

The presentation was my first of the year, in a new class, with a new teacher, and some new classmates. It also was not the usual PowerPoint on whatever I recently learned in science, it was a written work of mine about the life of one of my classmates. The interview was for my first assigned article in Journalism, which is the only one of my works that currently has the possibility of being published. I think that the pressure I put on myself for these things to be perfect was because they would be an audience’s first impression of my written work, and it made me (even more of) a hot mess.

Before entering Journalism I was able to slide by without sharing my works, but that can’t be anymore. If I’m ever going to be an author I need to improve my writing skills and have confidence in my writing. These are the things I hope to accomplish in my studies in Journalism as well as my other classes. I know that while my peers may not have been as much of a wreck as me, they have all been in a similar position and become successful through experiences like these. Today, my train wreck of a first interview was also my first step on the path to success.

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