This semester I'm embarking on projects I've never done before...
I'm a PR ambassador for a global company. I'm launching a new "project" in the WUFT newsroom. I'm attempting to TV report. I'm starting my last year at the University of Florida.
None of these compare to one of the scariest things of my life... I'm beginning to mentor more than 30 Radio 1 students as they start their careers as reporters at UF.
For those not familiar with the UF broadcast news program, let me explain.
You start off in a broadcast newswriting class. In that class, a group of students take a script writing exam to enter in our Telecommunication - News program. Only the best get in. Many students take the exam again. Some change their major. Others cry a lot. When I took the exam, I had studied like crazy for weeks. I became obsessive over this simple exam. I passed the first time, and apparently did very well. You're never told your grade or ranking on this exam. Professors might eventually hint that you did well on the exam, but besides that you never know.
These 30-something students took the exam at the same time as me. While I chose to take the Radio 1 class in the summer, these students picked Fall. In the summer while they were off doing internships, traveling the world, or sitting at home, I was becoming a slave to news. I spent hours, even days in the INC. I woke up early, stayed late, and ruined my sleeping schedule. And now, they're back... And I was encouraged to be their mentor (a position very similar to a TA except without all of the paperwork).
Now, this isn't new to me. I mentored the girls in my class this summer, and have a few wonderful volunteers that I've had the chance to work with. I edited a paper when I was 19 years old. I'm an occasionally bossy person who might have actually been born to be a teaching assistant. I've spent my whole life being called Mom.
There are more students now. And it's official.
So if you're one of my students, it's okay to feel lost. It's okay to be nervous. It's okay to ask questions. Learn from your mistakes, and grow professionally.
I'm new to this, too. I will celebrate your triumphs with you. If you want to cry, I will be there to ensure you that everything will be just fine. I'm here to listen to your stories, whether they're the ones aired on WUFT-FM or if you want to tell me about the weird interview you just had. I'm here to help you become the best journalists you can be. We're going to grow together.
Welcome to WUFT. We're so happy to have you here with us.