1. There is nothing like seeing your name in a byline, whether it’s in print or online.

    Meet Lena, Michael, Mary Elizabeth, Ben and Kelli – some of the amazing people I work with on The Appalachian’s Lifestyles desk.

  2. You’ll learn how to network as you build source relationships.
  3. You can’t learn journalism without practicing journalism.
  4. You’ll get to know people, and not just in a superficial way. You’ll really know them.
  5. There will be conflict, and you’ll learn how to deal with it in a professional way.
  6. You’ll do something, make something, be a part of something that is bigger than you.
  7. You’ll have room to experiment and make your own mark.
  8. Do you really want to send a resume to a newspaper without student newspaper experience?
  9. Under pressure, you’ll find out who you really are. Your best self probably needs some refining by fire!
  10. You’ll write, and write, and write. And you’ll get better each time you do so.
  11. You will not know AP Style until you use it everyday. Bonus points if you spot the error in this tip.
  12. You will have more pride in your work and others’ than you could ever imagine.
  13. You’ll gain so much diverse experience. Want to write for five different beats, design, take photos, and edit all in one place? A college newspaper is the perfect place to do it.
  14. Many college newspapers are real, functioning, professional, impressive productions. If you’re imagining yours as something like a high school paper, stop!
  15. You’ll become a huge, plugged-in part of your campus as you cover a variety of events.
  16. You’ll find out whether this is something you can really do every day…possibly for the rest of your life.
  17. You’ll learn to write clean copy quickly and under pressure. Go on journalismjobs.com and see you many times THAT sentence shows up under “required skills.”
  18. You’ll write good stories and awful stories and, over time, the scales will tip on the side of good stories.
  19. You’ll meet a bunch of people who hate math as much as you do.
  20. Unlike your friends, you will never again be afraid of a phone call or job interview.
  21. If you become an editor, you’ll have some serious real-life management experience. How many recent college grads can say that?
  22. Have I mentioned the relationships yet? There are no friendships like newsroom friendships.
  23. You will become knowledgeable. You may not know a lot about anything (other than journalism), but you’ll know a little about everything.
  24. You’ll learn how to write to a (very) specific audience.
  25. You’ll learn how to deal with criticism gracefully. Don’t think you’re never going to hear someone bad-mouthing your article, not knowing you’re the author, because you will.
  26. You’ll learn how to make anything compelling.
  27. You’ll start seeing stories everywhere.
  28. Class writing assignments will never be stressful again.
  29. You’ll learn how to be accountable to your peers and, later in your experience, hold your peers accountable.
  30. You’ll be able to recite the menu of whichever campus eatery is closest to the newsroom backwards. With your eyes closed. While sleeping.
  31. At some point, someone you don’t know will compliment one of your articles. The feeling you’ll have is indescribable.
  32. At some point, someone you don’t know will hate one of your articles. See #31.
  33. At some point, someone you don’t know will specifically come to you to write an article. See #31.
  34. Your ethics will be tested in real-world situations. You’ll learn what is really important to you when you have to make sacrifices for it.
  35. Even if it turns out that you hate journalism and you don’t want to do this for the rest of your life (or ever), it’s better to have learned it here and now.
  36. Your confidence will be torn down, then built back up again when you really deserve it.
  37. You will become good – or at least practiced – at things you originally did terribly.
  38. You’ll stop being intimidated by rude people.
  39. You will misspell at least one word and make one egregious, terrible grammatical mistake. And you’ll learn that it isn’t the end of the world.
  40. If you’re lucky, you’ll discover a passion and a drive for journalism that will get you out of bed in the morning.
  41. You’ll discover some crazy journalistic passions. Believe it or not, some people like covering town council meetings, and you may be one of them.
  42. Everyone should have a screaming, door-slamming fight about commas before they die/graduate.
  43. You’ll recognize random people all the time, then realize you’ve interviewed them.
  44. You’ll learn random, useful things in your interviews.
  45. You’ll learn to love at least one person you initially hated. You might even learn that hating people really only happens when you misunderstand them.
  46. There will be real consequences for your failures and real rewards for your mistakes.
  47. You will not always be appreciated, and you’ll learn that in life, you have to be fueled by your own love of what you do.
  48. You may get your own desk. Can we just talk about the heady, life-changing power of having your own desk while you’re still an undergrad? It’s heady. And life-changing.
  49. You will learn how to make sacrifices and you will learn that sacrifices for something you love are always worth it.
  50. No matter what people say and internet aside –  journalism is dynamic and interesting and mind-bendingly stressful and fun. You want to be a part of it, I promise, and this is where you start.
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