Celebrities, Education, Features, Rambling, Television, Uni, Work

A week in the life of a journalism student

Hey hepcats. I’m extremely sorry about my lack of posts. In this blog, I hope to explain why I had no time…

After net-stalking Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld‘s “a week in the life of” blog/diary entries last week, I’ve decided to do the same thing – despite my life being a thousand times more tedious than a super-smart, pretty Harvard freshman’s with adoring fans and famous parents. But if anyone out there has ever wondered what it was like to be a journalism student, you’re welcome. (DISCLAIMER: This is a week in the life of A journalism student. Not EVERY journalism student. My life is much duller than the average journo’s) So, if you’ve decided to read on, I’m giving you a cookie!

Cookie via The Food Section


I have a video story due on Saturday for my journalism subject this semester. The subject has three components – text, video and radio, and knowing my luck, video is first for me. The only reason this is a problem is because video stories take the longest, due to the sometimes massive amount of time you need to find people who are actually willing to be interviewed on camera, going out and shooting your footage hauling a huge suspicious-looking briefcase and tripod followed by voiceovers, editing and exporting. Can I get it all done? Let the games begin! DEADLINE: Saturday 21st April, midnight.

Day 1: Monday April 16

With all my other assessments done and dusted (for now), I finally have the whole week to focus on this video story. Unfortunately, due to procrastination/being busy I don’t actually have my story yet. Hopefully, by the end of the day this will be changed.

9:30am – Hesitantly wake up, knowing I have a big week ahead of me. Have breakfast and finalise what I need to do today – namely, who I need to contact and what time I need to head to uni. If I pick up my video equipment late, I will be BANNED from borrowing it ever again. (Probably. Maybe. I’m not going to take that chance).

11:30am – By now I’ve cancelled and rebooked my equipment booking no less than a dozen times. Reason? I’m a bit behind schedule and won’t be out the door until after breakfast my mid-morning snack I watch Dora the Explorer lunchtime.

1:30pm – I arrive at uni to pick up my 500kg camera case and tripod from the equipment store. %&$ it’s heavy. I’m a small girl!

1:35pm – In the journalism room trying to figure out how to USE the video camera before I bother making any calls. Can’t possibly film anyone if I don’t know how to do it, right?? #noobalert. My excuse is that I’ve never used this camera before. Input, output? Whaaaat?

2:00pm – I encounter fellow second-year journo students who also feel ffff-reaked out. At least we’re in the same boat. I begin calling Ben & Jerry’s to set up an interview, but even after half a dozen calls to Unilever and B&J’s, I end up with an answering machine. I continue to call people (from the journalism room phone so I don’t fork out the bill… muahaha)/freak out/think about hepcats.

5:00pm – Business hours are over and today has been nothing short of an utter failure. I send an email to my tutor about me being said failure and not having a story. FML.

Day 2: Tuesday April 17

10:30am – I. Don’t. Want. To. Do. This. Five points off for waking up late. Silly cow.

12:00pm – Researching a new story – Sumo Salad have launched a healthy lunches campaign. I decide to go with that. Receptionist lady isn’t keen beans to help me out and I become so frustrated that I say (rather rudely), “could you just put me on with someone who deals with media people?” Not exactly my finest hour. #stillembarrassed #i’msorry

Receptionist on phone: “They’re out for lunch. Could you call back later?”

Me: “Oh okay, when?”

Receptionist: (thinking *I HATE NOOB JOURNALISM STUDENTS*) Uh, after lunchtime?


2:30pm – I’m freaking out and think back to last year. What to do in times of desperation? Answer: research something on-campus. I remember that the uni food co-op distributes boxes of fresh produce every Tuesday. I immediately ring them up and am told that they are preparing for Fair Trade Fortnight soon. I say I’ll be there in 1.5 hours. GOLD.

4:00pm – I’m at the co-op and things have died down – the hectic box-collecting happens around lunchtime and now things are kind of dead. Nevertheless, I set up shop and film anything and everything that happens in the co-op until 9pm when it’s time to lock up (actually, they were supposed to close at 6pm but with me around they did everything slower… oops). I come across many lively, passionate people and film them for my story. I even have a mind-stimulating off-camera conversation with a co-op director about migrating to Australia and not being able to find work, racism and discrimination and farming practices in Peru.

9:00pm – Off to journalism room to make sure that all my footage works and is audible. It is. I am happy.

10:30pm – Finally home time and FOOD!!!!! Oh how I’ve missed you.

Day 3: Wednesday April 18

10:30am – I arrive at uni, ready to look through all my videos and edit. There’s around 150 in total. I spend several hours scrolling through each video and noting what’s in it to figure out what I can actually use.

2:00pm – I realise that two of the people I’ve interviewed are actually experts at UTS after Googling them. YES.

2:30pm – I feel kind of crappy when I realise that the Fair Trade Association is based in Victoria, so I can’t video interview them. Damn. My story would be complete if I could film someone from the association.

2:30pm – midnight – Editing, texts from friends wondering why I don’t have time to have a social life (I ignore them in anger), Googling One Direction, scripting, home, food.

Day 4: Thursday April 19

Editing all day and night. I miss you, Food, Life and People. (You know you’re in trouble when you start to personify everything).

Day 5: Friday April 20

10:30am – Run over to building 10 to put my International Studies and Chinese work in the assignment boxes. I put one in box 12 instead of box FASS-12. HEAD —–> DESK.

11:00am – Back to Bon Marche for last-minute recordings in the voice-over booths.

11:20am – 5:30pm – Munching on cookies*    *What do you think I’m doing?

5:30pm – After multiple attempts at exporting, I realise that in order to maintain the quality of the video I need to save the movie via Quicktime and export directly to YouTube. It’s done and I am awesome.

6:30pm: On the train and I’m thinking “Yess!!! Finally home before midnight!!!!!!”

7:30pm – Come home to find that mum has invited her friends that have moved from England over for dinner. I’m exhausted and not in the mood for entertaining but nonetheless eat, drink (juice, of course… thanks, Asian flush) and play Go Fish/21 a thousand times more enthusiastically than my opponents – a 12-year-old girl with an amazing Emma Watson-esque accent and my 11- and 6(?)-year-old cousins. I don’t know if it’s my exhaustion or excessive Cadbury Favourites consumption that leads me to not understanding/remembering how to play a game as complicated as brain surgery Go Fish.

Day 6: Saturday April 21


8:30am – Probably watching a One Direction video. Or two. Or three.

9:00am – I eat BREAKFAST and write up my SCRIPT and submit my video to UTS ONLINE and WORDPRESS. Fireworks go off in my head. I feel relieved, happy, kind of like I’ve uncovered the story of the year (even though it’s far from it).

12:00pm – Start prepping for my induction at Coles. Yes I am employed again.

12:50pm – I RUN to Coles after almost forgetting to note down my tax file number, REST member number and bank account details. Tragic.

12:57pm: I made it. Boo-yah!

1:00pm-6:30pm – 5.5 hour induction. Worried that I’ll miss the UTS Amnesty election I need to go to at 7.

6:30pm – Racing myself to the station in uncomfortable shoes (my mum’s. Long story) while frantically texting the Amnesty president, looking just slightly weirder than usual.

         Me: “Hey I’m coming to the election but will be 20 minutes late is that okay??”

         President: “Sorry, and you are?”

         HEAD ————> DESK

7:00pm – Scribbling my nomination speech for the role of Publicity Officer on a square of scrap paper on the train, looking like a sight for sore eyes.

7:30pm – I arrive at UTS but can’t find the meeting room. HEAD ——-> DESK. The president has to find me himself. Embarrassing much?

Only four people have turned up to the meeting (myself included) so I automatically have the role *fireworks*. We discuss the group’s logo for UTS, upcoming events and cookies (okay, the latter just in my mind…)

Day 7: Sunday April 22


12:00pm – Rise and shine! Doesn’t matter what time it is because I HAVE NOTHING ON =)

1:30pm – I wash my hair then proceed to break a Lush Gingerbread House Bubble Bar in half and lie in the bathtub for a while. Then I think I might as well put a mask on as well, so I, um, do it.

2:30pm – I watch all of last week’s Home & Away whilst making myself some somewhat-disgusting spaghetti.

6:00pm – I end my day of being a couch potato by staying in hibernation mode, watching parts 1 and 2 of the Titanic series, all of last week’s Neighbours, New Girl and Four Corners: The Fastest Changing Place on Earth while ASOSing.

11pm – 3:00am – Facebook chatting with a friend. At around 2am I am introduced to her mother who joins our conversation. Since she only understands Korean, I use Google Translate to say hello. I somehow unintentionally end up swearing at said mum. I launch a hate campaign against Google Translate.

4:00am – I tip-toe into my room and sleep.

Wow… I’m sorry I put you through that. Are you still awake?? Did you fall asleep at the keyboard? Fine, fine, here’s a cupcake with Cookie Monster eating a cookie as compensation…

Don’t get your cookies in a monster: Buzzfed

PS. The whole cookie thing isn’t a coincidence. There are seriously TOO MANY cookies in the house. Six boxes of different cookie varieties, to be precise. Nom nom nom.


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