A Love Letter to Journalism

By Claire Wilson 

June 10, 2024

Take as many English classes as you can, said the recruiter at the University of Toronto admissions office as I sat in a scratchy chair, taking notes as fast as my pen could go. I needed to strategize if I wanted to get into the most competitive Canadian university, and taking classes that corresponded with my intended major only made sense. In Ms. Dexter's office I planned my senior schedule, which included AP Language, creative writing, and journalism. It was perfect; a schedule full of classes which would make me a competitive applicant and that I was sure I would enjoy. 

I was curious about journalism. I’ve always been a writer, but journalism was a style of writing I knew virtually nothing about. I was excited to explore a more every day writing format, and maybe have an article or two published in the school newspaper. But I did so much more than that. I became editor, which was by far the most fun and exciting leadership role I have had in high school. I got to work on the website, edit articles, and collaborate with other students to improve our publication. Best of all, I wrote articles.

Over the course of a school year, I have written 50 articles. Vegemite Turns 100: A Look Into the Australian Cultural Icon, was by far the most fun to write. Writing about Giovanni DeGarimore’s arrest gave me a taste for investigative journalism, and made me apprehensive about ever stepping foot into that establishment again. Spending a day shadowing Kaytlyn Leslie of The Tribune and writing about her was an eye opening look into the real world of modern journalism. Researching strange topics and events, like Wafaa Bilal’s performance art or Z-Library, a complicated piracy ring, was fascinating and exciting. 

There has always been a part of me that wants to understand what is going on around me, and journalism grabbed that curiosity by the shoulders and shook it. “Look at what you can do!” it shouted at me, “look at what you can become!” 

Writing articles has not only stretched me as a writer, but has served as a documentary of my senior year. I wrote about the jazz festival and drama club Disney trip and homecoming and my job shadow at the Tribune. This year, living and writing became a reciprocatory cycle. I lived to write, and wrote about life and the lives of those around me. Journalism pushed me to see new places, talk to interesting people, and generally pushed me out of my comfort zone. 

I will not be pursuing journalism in university. This is my last article. I am sad that it is over, but mostly, I am glad that it happened. I am glad I was given the opportunity to explore a subject I felt passionate about this year, and hopefully, help others learn about it too.