Saturday, 22 October 2016

It Will Be Grand on the Day

I was not sure where I would even begin with writing here again. It has been a long time, fam. Much has changed, while other things have stayed the same. The wind still blows, the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west and we all still try and get those tumblr-esque #skypics for our Instagram feed.

While all of that sounds lovely, that isn’t what I am here to talk about and it isn’t what you probably want to read, either.

To sum up in thirteen words: I started university and I moved to the other end of the country.

Someone asked me during the summer what my philosophy on life was. I threw my head back and laughed to buy some time to come up with a decent answer; it will be grand on the day.

I received both my exam results and my college offer in August just gone by. I am studying a journalism course that many people know that I had my eye on for quite a while. It was, of course, a nerve-wrecking time to put it lightly. However much of the stress started for me after I got my college offer. I had to start making more concrete plans for moving to Dublin and getting one step closer to receiving my #CityGal badge.

For the most part, things started to fall back into place, once the dust settled. It did not come without its challenges but the doubts I had were swept away in the matter of a couple of weeks. I simply cannot sum up my “College Experience” to date in one single post. But what I can say is that I have been very lucky to meet some of the slickest people around, some of whom have already managed to taste the finest scones made by my mother.

Since I have started college, I have subsequently been called Kathleen by people I do not even know. That is a story for another day.

My course is great, the people on my course are great, too (gwan ye jurno gurlos). However, I did find some parts of the introduction to the course quite overwhelming, in the sense that I felt I was losing my creative writing identity, if we can even call that a thing.

The bare bones of news writing (although I find it to be one of the most enjoyable modules) is that the language used is restrictive and forced. No one wants to hear about the two cents you have to add to a story, unless you’re writing a feature or a column. You are providing the news for consumers, not for your own artistic benefit. Sin é, that is how it works.

This is not a criticism on the industry or those who teach us, it is merely an observation. I put my name down for the course, and this is what it entails. These are the Elements of Journalism (nice lil pun for my JR1 huns).

It made me think; can I still write creatively? What parts of my personality am I now willing to share across my platforms? Is it even wise that I maintain my blog, where I – dare I say it now – share my opinions? Do I completely deny myself of creative accessibility? Should I pack it in and start spelling my name with a K instead of a C because it looks more structured and sophisticated?

The answer to most of these should be pretty clear both to myself and to anyone who knows me well enough.

I have not written in my usual routine in months, and I can feel it just as much as the miraculous foot injury I acquired two weeks ago.

There is a pendulum swaying mid-air in my mind that goes from creative writing, poems and essays to hard-core, dig-up-the-dirt-show-me-a-good-intro investigative journalism. These are two heavy-weight, deeply engrained sides to me that bear equal importance.

All is not lost, because you’ll hear me laughing in some cackle around campus and I religiously wear my Mayo jersey once a week to keep at least one dream alive. By all means this is quite a long-winded stream of narcissistic consciousness that I can look back on when I am old, grey and full of sleep.

What will I do? I will more than likely boil the kettle and try and figure it out with some other soul over a cup of tea and scones that I bring up from home every Sunday.