The Fordham First Person series focuses on sincerity and self-disclosure. Not necessarily newsy, but always relatable, this series presents the stories of our community, recounted in their own words.
We’re Communication and Media Studies majors. We soar onto New York City’s metropolitan media scene, fresh-faced and finally free from our boorish small towns. Then, we plunge feet-first into a sea of other likeminded pop culture nerds who won’t shut up about the ‘90s. Our parents tell us we’re crazy — really, how can someone major in communicating? Our internship supervisors tell us to “communicate” with the Starbucks barista — don’t forget the soymilk this time. But, no matter what anyone tells us to do, we share the same ambitious plans and dreams: we just want to prove to the world that we have what it takes “to make it.” We’re like a Jersey girl straight out of a Bruce Springsteen song. Well, at least that’s what I felt like when I first moved into Queen’s Court back in 2010.
I was certain of only one thing: I wanted to write. I could be a screenwriter, sketch comedy writer, blogger, journalist, whatever — storytelling, in any form, makes me happy. I also wanted to talk pop culture, and NOT just about the ‘90s. But, oh wait, there are hundreds of other hopefuls just like me.
How does one Ram stand out in Fordham University’s most popular major? How does one New Yorker stand out in the one of the city’s most competitive and crowded fields?
Everyone told me to simply build my resume: take odd jobs, dabble in internships you’ve never considered before, take classes where you’ll learn a trade. It’s solid advice — from taking phone calls as an administrative assistant to copy editing to taking a crack at broadcast journalism, I don’t regret a single moment of my scattered time throughout vastly different communication fields. But, the Springsteen-esqe Jersey girl in me was starting to nag: I’m creative, I’m talented, so somebody give me a chance to prove it! In other words, I wanted to tell my own stories…not just what an editor or internship supervisor decided to assign me. So, when I strolled into Nick Leshi’s Writing for Online Media class one Wednesday night last semester, I discovered an opportunity that, in all honesty, had been there the whole damn time.
Blogging. I know, I know…literally EVERYBODY does it. At least, that’s what the cynics tell me. EVERYBODY has a blog…you really want to be one of those people?
If you want to be a writer, then the answer is yes. Be one of those people. Last September, I started writing my blog. I started spamming my Facebook friends and Twitter followers alike to accumulate readership. I started making deadlines for myself and asking around for guest writers. Guess what? It all helped me land an internship at Nickelodeon, where I help write blog posts, quizzes, trivia, and maintain various digital content. I’m talkin’ SpongeBob SquarePants.
So, here’s my two cents on blogs and why every COMM major should start one:
You Get to Do Your Thing
But actually. You’re the boss. You’re free to write about any possible thing you like. For me, it’s cartoons. Embarrassing, right? Whatever. I like Disney, animation, comics, you name it. I’m proud of the nerd I am — I wasn’t always — but, if Fordham’s taught me anything, it’s that your quirky, funny interests and expertise are what make you compelling. So don’t be afraid to talk about the weird, niche things that you enjoy…which leads to my second tip.
You Have the Chance to Stand Out
As I said earlier, everybody has a blog…it’s kinda true. There are seas of blogs about travel, food, fitness, dating, celebrities, and everything in between out there. The key is to find your niche (and that’s where your nerdy, little interests come in handy). At the core of it, my blog is about television and film, but it’s positioned as a specific authority on animation. Thus, it attracts a ton of animation enthusiasts on a daily basis, which is great for social stats (and the ol’ resume). Decide who you’d like your audience to be — the more specific, the better — and also think about what kind of jobs/internships you’d like to apply for. For me, working with outlandish, cartoony characters was the dream, so that’s the topic I chose to write about. Looking back, it makes sense why a company like Nickelodeon came a’knocking.
Write (And Share) Fearlessly
Write your blog and share it. Over and over again. Just do it. Or, are you scared of annoying people? Friends, family, classmates, high school acquaintances that you’re still Facebook friends with because keeping tabs on them is kinda fun? Come on. My greatest piece of advice is don’t worry about people judging you for sharing your stuff. If you’re putting your writing out in the world, judgment and criticism are things you’re going to have to face anyway. Be fearless, and be proud of what you write — so share it! Ask friends to share it too. The more people who see your stuff, the better. You honestly never know who could be reading.
And there you have it. Start blogging, don’t stop, and don’t look back. And maybe — just once in a while — indulge yourself in some ’90s pop culture. It’s okay, blog about it — we’re all doing it anyway.