This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
So, how’s Temple?
Funny, last year at this time, I graduated from the Community College of Philadelphia and asked the same exact question of students I knew at Temple University. Now, when I visit CCP, I get asked the question.
So far, Temple has been great. It is challenging at times, but I wouldn’t change it. CCP prepared me to know what to expect of college-level work and how to best tackle it. CCP taught me those skills I was lacking a few years prior.
The transition into Temple was smooth, even smoother than I had expected. Perhaps it was because I had visited Temple before and remembered some of the university’s layout. Maybe it was the enthusiasm and excitement of my orientation and then convocation, where I was able to learn Temple’s pep rally chant. One day, I’ll actually make it out to a game and will be able to proudly chant along with my fellow Owls.
I knew that in my first semester I wanted to get involved in anything that had to do with journalism. Temple is a great hub for journalism, even if at times it seems that I am the only one focusing on the print aspects of it.
Honestly, there is not too much of a difference now that I am here at Temple, other than the lecture halls and some of the course work. From what I have experienced so far, I think a lot depends on the major that student chooses.
For me, the journalism classes were familiar. During my first semester, one of my many assignments as a journalism major was to wander around Philadelphia and interview an individual about a specific topic assigned by my professor. During my second semester I had to do something similar, except this time it involved video interviews.
Outside of the classroom, my first attempt at becoming acquainted with Temple was to join the university’s paper. Before I knew it, I was writing for The Temple News every few weeks and accumulating a fair number of clips.
My biggest accomplishment was writing my first front-page story for the paper. A lot of work went into it and I am very proud of it.
In between writing articles for The Temple News during my first semester, I also wrote a few articles for Temple’s yearbook, The Templar. The editors of this project wanted a more journalistic approach applied to the articles appearing in the publication. It was exciting to be working on articles focusing on Occupy Philadelphia or certain classes at Temple that don’t get much attention.
Writing for The Temple News has been a great experience so far. I am learning a lot from the editors and other reporters at the paper. I decided to join Temple’s Association of Black Journalists.
With all of these opportunities to gather experience in the field, it was also important for me to remember my schoolwork. Tough decisions about whether to cover an event for the paper or finish that last bit of editing for class came up a lot more in my second semester than the first.
I realize now from my experiences that journalism can be a very time-consuming job. News just doesn’t wait for when you’re free, and sometimes I found myself working on an article and homework at the same time. But perhaps this is just the norm for a typical college student: making tough, but rewarding decisions.