Earlier this week I posted this tweet:
It was in reference to my feelings as I experienced anxiety, worry, excitement, and a surge of adrenaline all at the same time. I couldn’t put my feelings into words because there were no words. It was exhilarating. J4804 will probably be one of, if not the most fascinating class I will ever take. Honestly people should use 4804 students as test subjects because that would be make for some solid study material.
Anyway. I’m now an expert on all things 4804 (lolz, #jokes). I’ve gone through 3 pitch meetings (Shark Tank style), two deadline days, and I’ve completed my first round of newsroom shifts. I’ve learned a lot over these past 3 weeks, but some key things have stuck out:
Depending on people is not a party.
Ahh, a cliché life is hard. How cliché. As a journalist/reporter, particularly working in a team, you have to depend on yourself, your partners, and the People of the World. The People of the World are probably the most difficult because your life means nothing to them and they are your World (for whatever story you’re working on). That can make for some difficult situations. However, sometimes the only way to get around it is to be a pest. Yes, a pest. But a respectful, polite pest. It’s a fine line, but it’s a line that’s necessary to learn how to walk.
Somewhere, somehow it’s probably your fault, too.
While the most important thing to remember is sometimes you can’t help the things that happen to you, you also can’t go around pointing your pretty little finger at everyone when something bad happens. Especially if it’s within your team. There were a few instances where less than desirable things happened on a deadline day or for a pitch, and yeah I could stomp my foot down, turn my nose up, and defiantly declare, “It’s not my fault!” …but that wouldn’t be responsible or even necessary. Maybe it’s not directly your fault, but people are human and groups exist to check each other. Did you verify that everything was as it was supposed to be? If having someone help you, did you go back and double check to make sure the right things got put in the right places? Sometimes things happen and the best way to handle that is just accepting responsibility, moving on, and doing what you can to alleviate any damage. The Blame Game gets you nowhere.
It’s like that thing with confidence – fake it ’til you make it. Plus it makes a world of difference with other people because feigning it can sometimes help others realize it could be worse. And yes I know I have a bet that’s the main reason for my positive, but I’ve found it to be (surprisingly) extremely beneficial. I think I’d feel way worse right now if I were in a constant state of feeling as if the world were about to end.
Spend what time you can with people that encourage you.
Being with people that lift you up is a much better way of spending your time, whether they’re friends, professors, or your teammates. Don’t complain, but don’t lie – when they ask how you are you can be honest, but pair any potential negativity with something positive. If it weren’t for professors that support me, teammates who make me laugh, or an Alex who has “endless destress hugs on lock” I would probably be a mental mess right now. Along that line, really do get to to know your teammates. They’re going through this with you and it makes it a bajillion times more fun when you can laugh-cry at the horrible/wonderful things that are happening with people who understand.
Tell yourself you have a handle on this.
4804 is hard, but it’s manageable and it’s by no means impossible. It frequently throws sneaky plays your way, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. So maybe you don’t know 100%, but you probably have more of a handle on it than you think. I can’t say enough how many times I’ve thought everything was going to come crumbling down this week, only to see it nose-dive, almost crash, and then soar into the sky. Alex has even started saying “I told you so.”
Linking all of this back to positivity, I think the biggest part of managing 4804 is truly staying positive. For those who know me, I’m not a ray of sunshine who skips around throwing flower petals, singing, smiling, and telling everyone to “be positive!!!!” – so trust me, I’m surprised to be saying so much about positivity, but it’s really helped. There were instances this past week where I was afraid things were going to fail. However, instead of quitting and accepting failure, I told myself it would work out, and then I (and my teammates) worked to make it work out. And if anything, that alone is what made everything successful.