In the second year, when I learnt that there was a student magazine at Derby; I was eager to get involved, I thought about writing articles and approached the media coordinator at the SU. We had a great conversation about student media and I realised it was really easy to get involved, so, I set about writing my first article.
After a few weeks, the editorial roles were being advertised for the magazine. I read the advert and looked at the application form online but hesitated at taking on so much responsibility. I didn’t think that I would be able to manage, especially with all the work and reading that’s involved in an English Literature degree. Yet, I was keen to explore what it was like working in a profession in which writing was involved. But being in two minds; I left it at that. A few days later, I was surprised by a phone call from the media coordinator, asking if I was interested in coming in for an interview for the editor position. She thought I was really enthusiastic when we last spoke and thought of me immediately when the position came up. I put my hesitation aside and went for it, literally and mentally!
I had had no time to practice for the interview so I just gave really honest, simple answers. The interviewers told me they would contact me once they had interviewed all the applicants. I really didn’t think I’d got the position. You can imagine my surprise when I got the ‘you have been successful’ phone call a few days later. Pleased as I could be, I decided to take on the position with full force because it’s is not every day you get to be the editor of a magazine. And university is so full of these type of opportunities. The best thing about doing these kind of roles at university is that it’s kind of a safe environment to challenge yourself.
Whilst I was an editor, I took the opportunity with both hands and set about calculating content, editorial and print deadlines for the next semester. I also called editorial meetings with the sub-editors, learnt how to proof read and edit for specific audiences. I also did something which had not been done before, I managed to release a brand new issue of the magazine at freshers’ fair which raised the profile of the magazine and gave it much needed publicity. Looking back now, I sometimes wonder how I managed to do all that and if somebody accredited me with all that responsibility, I probably would not believe it was possible. But it is possible and the editions of the magazine prove that it was possible. I think, university is a great place to challenge our mental restraints. Restraints that we often set ourselves because we haven’t seen ourselves in that capacity, and sometimes don’t dare to see ourselves out of our comfort zone. As I said before, university is a great place to challenge yourself, not just within your degree programme but through all the things that go on around uni too, because there’s lots of support to help you get it right.