Tips For Surviving The Fall Semester

Tips For Surviving The Fall Semester

By: Kylan Watson

You may think boot camp is hard, but those six weeks in boot camp are nothing compared to the four months of work in the fall semester. Boot camp was six weeks of learning how to write for radio and using an audio recorder. For fall students must be prepared especially if they are BDJ majors for writing for television and depending on your choice you have a research class or a law class to look forward to and one or two electives.

One of the more challenging, but fun classes is BDJ 664–trust me you will spend most of your week preparing for story day whether that is on Tuesday or Friday. Prepare to be in Newhouse for most of those afternoons.

When you are not preparing for story day, don’t worry, 664 will still dominate your life. On Monday or Friday you will have a live lab to get prepare for. Live labs consist of real news stories where you will have to choose your b-roll and write your script. Sometimes you may have 1:30, but most of the time you will have to get the important information out in a minute or less.  Its way more fun than it sounds, but it’s an adjustment.

Prepare for the return of the dreaded news quizzes in the fall too. Most likely depending on what section of the class you have you will have those on Wednesdays or Thursdays.  That’s just one class of the three you are required to take in the fall.

I would recommend that you stay ahead on the assignments there is a lot of things going on in and outside of class that will require your attention. Create a calendar of important assignments.  Make sure you are looking for story ideas at least a couple of days before the story pitch form is due. Also, you will hear this a lot Newhouse requires a lot from you. Take a break when you can, whether that means going out, watching Netflix, going to games or speakers–do whatever you can to maintain your sanity. You will thank me later.

Take advantage of your electives as well, make sure you are finding ways to make them work for you. For example, for my fall semester I took a sports writing class across all platforms and I highly recommend taking it. Professor Egan is such a joy. I also took an E-Sports class that was fun as well. Both classes helped me improve my writing when it came to sports or E-sports and gave me some opportunities to broadcast as well.

I can’t overemphasize how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity you get to get in front or behind a camera. Take advantage of courses and opportunities that allow you to do that because our limited time at Syracuse is very limited. Make them work for you.

Fall semester is the second leg of the race and it will require a lot out of you. You were accepted into this program for a reason and if you remember that and take advantage of every opportunity you will ace the fall semester.

Kylan Watson
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