The value of contributing
Early on in my undergrad, one of my favourite professors told me that the best thing that you could do for your future self is to have published works under your belt.
Sure, he was talking to a class of communication studies undergraduates and sure, having any kind of writing experience in the communications industry is a major asset. However, I believe more than anything else that this holds true to just about everyone.
As a student with a million things on the go, the last thing that anyone is able to think about is spending time writing a piece to be published. I get that. When you’re juggling between assignments, midterms and paid work, you’re spread entirely too thin. There are barely enough hours in a day to do the work that you’re responsible for.
There are many other reasons that you can use for not making the jump. It can be daunting to share a story that you’re passionate about with your peers, let alone sharing it with such a large audience. It can also be intimidating to join a new network of people who are already established.
There are so more many reasons to put yourself out there, however.
Getting work published not only links you to an organization, but it also builds your network, broadens your reach and enables you to connect with a pretty significant range of people. Once you have a piece in your name, you have an edge on other candidates for jobs, volunteer opportunities and have a stronger pool of individuals to network with.
If that scares you, don’t sweat it. When I first started writing for a publication, I would be so nervous to send my piece out for editing with the thought that any criticism would mean that I’m not a good writer. When my piece would be published, I would turn my phone off so that I wouldn’t be able to see any bit of critique.
Over time, I learned that criticism is crucial to becoming a better writer and since then, I’ve been able to leverage myself with my experiences contributing to different publications to become a better-rounded individual.
One of the easiest ways to get your name out there is to contribute to your campus media organization. If you have a story to share, a piece you want to investigate further or even something you want to bring attention to on or around campus, connect with us. The Silhouette is always looking for volunteers.