Medium & Mercurius

The Medium Experience: From a mid-life crisis at 20 to a writer at Medium

Medium

Medium is a digital magazine by Communication Science students and reports, in both English and Dutch, on all topics communication-related. From politics to marketing, written articles to podcasts, Medium has you covered for all your communication interests.  Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the team?

The world has somehow survived another decade. It’s the beginning of 2020, the time to make those resolutions that you will for sure not quit… For at least 3 days. Mine clearly is being more optimistic. Most importantly, it is time to reflect on the new experiences we had in 2019. One of those for me was to become a writer for Medium. Buckle up! Get ready for a somewhat overly-detailed and hopefully insightful reflection of how I got to Medium, what it’s been like so far and how you can join this team too! (you know, provided you’re a Communication science student at the University of Amsterdam)

The world of the dead: Journalism and how I got to Medium

Journalism has always been a passion of mine (cue the clichés) as it combines my insatiable curiosity about the world and my love for writing. Nonetheless, it did take a while before I dwelled into the world of communication due to a little fact that some of my family, friends and even teachers confronted me with: Journalism is dead.

“Get a real job, then become a journalist.”

Now, let’s not start the funeral just yet. It is true that with developments such as the internet and smartphones, journalism has turned into a battle to grab readers’ (often) short-attention span. This has led to the rise of infotainment and, at times, less substantial pieces. However, “real” journalism is still around, and even less “serious” news can still contribute to people’s world views, knowledge, or even approach to life.

Admittedly though, it has become harder to make a living out of journalism-or as I was encouragingly told once by a journalist family friend: “Get a real job, then become a journalist.”

I did try that path, after a semester of medicine and a year of chemistry, and a small mid-life crisis at 20… I realized that I would only be happy if I attempted to follow my passion. That’s when I found Communication Science and Medium. 

The world of the living: Being a member of Medium

Looking back at my Medium experience, I can tell you I was abnormally and unnecessarily nervous at the beginning. It took me about a week to write an application email and about 2 weeks to write my first article. Writing is something I love doing, but putting an article of my authorship out into the world, open to criticism from editors and anyone with a Wi-Fi connection, was terrifying.

Medium has offered me a place where I can express myself, explore personal interests, and learn from everyone around me.

I am still nervous each time I start writing. In fact, this article is the product of 4 days of procrastination, but with each piece, I grow more confident. My writing hasn’t dramatically changed just yet. Still, Medium has offered me a place where I can express myself, explore personal interests, and learn from everyone around me.

I think the best part of Medium is the sense of community it provides. The staff is entirely made up of students who all share a passion for journalism and communication, yet all have their own individual approaches and views of these fields. Medium meetings are truly gatherings where everyone’s voice can and is encouraged to be heard. It has been a very wholesome experience so far, that has met my creative needs, and forced me to grow by facing my insecurities when it comes to writing.

Journalism may be dead for some, but personally, there’s nothing that would cheer me up more when I’m down or recovering from getting a wisdom tooth removed (Yes… that happened)… Than spending an hour working with a Medium editor on ways to improve an article about some oddly specific interest of mine.  

How to get involved?

Whether as an editor, writer, member of our audiovisual team, photographer or all of the above, you can join the Medium staff by sending an email attaching a short motivation and your CV to info@mediummagazine.nl 

 

Cover: Jessica Lewis

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Rita Alves
Rita Alves was born in Portugal but has been living in the Netherlands for the last 12 years. She is currently a first year student of the Bachelors' of communication Science at UvA, where she aims to satiate her curiosity about our society.

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