What journalism has done for me

Amera Lila, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus

   While scouring Twitter some months ago, I stumbled upon a seemingly absurd thread labeled “Journalism is better than AP rant.” Despite being a future communications major, I scoffed at the title and the accompanying phrase “I can’t do journalism. I have to take more AP classes. Fact or fiction?” As a student who was able to balance journalism and AP classes during the entirety of my high school career, this left me at a crossroads. In comparison to AP classes that have great academic benefit, what has an elective like journalism done for me?

   When enrolling in Journalism I my freshman year, I never expected to gain anything more than a few articles in the newspaper. Within the first few weeks of school, I was proven wrong. I was sent into the halls of a school I hardly knew to interview teachers and students with whom I had never spoken to before, to quote them in articles that can now be characterized as a mess. I was the human embodiment of the word “awkward” to begin with, but eventually with the consistent practice of barging into study halls and talking to students, grew into an articulate interviewer. Being thrown into the mix instantly taught me valuable communication skills that can be applied to the “real world” at the young age of fourteen. 

   In addition to learning the worthwhile skills anyone can benefit from, journalism has opened doors to events that have built my credibility as a writer and put me in contact with people who are willing to help me advance in the field. The last four years have been a whirlwind of movie premieres, Broadway shows, concerts, fashion shows, conferences, and interviews with politicians/musicians. Although I’m not proud of it, there were instances in which I prioritized events over homework (to be fair, Boston Fashion Week was more entertaining than my APUSH textbook). 

   This is by no means a rant to undermine the academic value that AP classes carry, but rather to shed light on how an elective like journalism, which often lies on the bottom of the hierarchy of classes, has contributed just as much to my education. AP teachers put an undeniable amount of work into each lesson to ensure that students pass the exam and get the college credit, but, what if you don’t pass? Not being reliant on test scores, but rather my resume and portfolio, I’ve been able to prove myself and my dedication to schools and jobs.

   As my journey writing for the Crimson Times comes to an end, I realize that sticking with this extra curricular for four years has given me a list of notable contacts, a chance to see growth in my writing, and the consistency needed for future applications. While AP classes have been beneficial to my education, journalism has done just as much, if not more.