As the weather has been getting colder, I’ve been waiting for it to snow. I finally got my wish this morning. Outside my window looks like a snow globe—fine white snow, falling in all directions, tall evergreen trees and skeletal branches dark against the light grey sky. In this weather, all I want to do is sit by my fireplace with a book. Fittingly, I can do just that; because as of yesterday, I’m officially done my fall semester at school.

It feels like it’s been a while since I sat down to write a blog post, and that’s because it kind of has been. So what have I been up to?

Joining the campus newspaper

Partway through this semester, I got a job at one of my university’s newspapers. I was already a volunteer reporter for the paper, but now I’m one of the editors. It’s been an incredible learning experience—not only have I become a stronger reporter, but I’ve also learned more about fact checking, editing and other technical skills.

I’ve covered breaking stories on campus like police investigating suspicious packages and worked on more in-depth investigations. I could write an entire post on my experiences so far, but the gist of it is that with every new article my desire to work in this field after I graduate grows. It sounds cheesy, but I really understand the saying “If you choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Work never really feels like “work” and I’m already looking forward to January.

Learning to love poetry

In addition to my experiences at work, this semester was different for me because I only had one journalism class, which was offered online. The rest of my classes were electives. I had two politics classes towards my minor—political theory and politics, technology and globalization—and one creative writing course. The politics classes were similar to some I’ve taken previously; I enjoyed them, but I certainly won’t miss them next semester.

My creative writing class was a nice break from academic and journalistic writing. It focused more on personal essays which, despite having blogged for several years, I haven’t really delved too much into from a creative angle. The last few weeks of the class also focused on poetry. I learned that although I’m not a huge fan of writing poetry, I do love reading and analyzing it. One text we looked at in the course, Charles Olson’s Projective Verse, made me think of the comparisons to blogging: composing by field and writing high-energy pieces by draining unnecessary comparison.

Celebrating and reflecting

The end of the semester is an interesting time—while it’s the beginning of exams, it’s also the end of the “season,” so to speak, for student groups. In addition to working at the newspaper, I’m fortunate enough to be the Managing Editor of a magazine on campus. This means I oversee the editors and assist with editing all of the content. We published our second issue at the end of November, and held a launch party with our contributors to celebrate. It’s cool to be able to be on the leadership team of a publication that gives writers and artists a space to share their work with the world.

Celebrating, of course, is not limited to publications or classes. As the semester wound down I visited the Christmas market with friends—it was a welcome break from studying things like transnational organized crime and the prevalence of state surveillance. Now that I’m done exams, I’m excited to have more time for all of the things I was too busy for during the year, like baking, reading, playing the piano and spending more time with my family and friends.

This time of year, with the snow and celebrations, feels like a natural time to reflect—on the past few months, if not the entire year. I mentioned earlier in this post that it looks like a snow globe outside my window. In a strange sort of way, writing a blog post is also like a snow globe. It’s a collection of words contained on this website that I can revisit at anytime and read (or “shake”) to feel the way I felt during this semester.

What are you reflecting on this December? Let me know in the comments. And, as always, if there’s a topic or question that you’d like to see me address in a blog post, let me know by commenting, tweeting or emailing me—I’d love to hear from you.

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