An Focal: Working in the SU, Writing and A New Family.


I am officially a published writer in a newspaper! Eek. The first issue of An Focal for semester two came out today. I was hugely excited let me tell you. Two weeks of solid work had come to this. I refused to look at the pdfs before hand. I wanted it all to be a surprise, despite having meticulously read and edited each piece. But let's go back to the beginning. How in the name of God did I get here?

I started co op in the SU in UL on the 13th of Sept . I wasn’t nervous until the morning I started. I woke up with large butteflies in my stomach and nervous 'ol me was like "Oh dear, why I have done this?" It truly felt like starting a new school for the first time. I live literally a fifteen minute walk into the college, so bringing my bike to Limerick made the journey even shorter.

My first day was spent being inducted into the position of someone working for the Students' Union. We were shown around the SU, the canteens, all the offices. Places that a regular student would not have access too which was really exciting. I discovered people I knew already had also gained positions in the SU which delighted me. 

I actually had an idea of what I was going into as Deputy-Editor of An Focal. I write for a number of different publications already, ranging from this blog to a website aimed at college students ( I am a self-confessed writer, I spend a lot of my time screenshotting and saving pieces of writing that I find while reading books, newpapers and reading things alone. Words hold so much power so I was very excited for this opportunity.

I pride myself on having good spelling and grammar so I knew that would benefit me going into this position. Something I was really looking forward to was actually getting to read other people's work, seeing their passions and getting to put their words into print. 

I was worried that going into the position that I wouldn't have any ideas. Sometimes as a blogger and writer I find myself lying in bed at night, wracking my brain for some inspiration. I can usually cure this with some music. I always find the best writing comes from you when you're emotional. 

Flash forward to being in the position and I know that I have learned so much already. While I have a lot of writing under my belt, I had some much to learn in terms of structuring writing to suit a newspaper. I realised my having studied Media Law had not gone to waste as I had to phrase emails under different acts and ask for FOIs (Freedom of Information). Writing for a newspaper, even a student one entails formalities and technicalities but also lot of fun.

One of the huge perks is getting on with your co-worker. The editor of An Focal Tomás Heneghan already writes for his own blog, various newspapers and I admire his strong interest in politics, something I really lack. We can joke and laugh together which suits me right down to the ground. I feel really comfortable in the office with him, Killian and Aidan.

I personally don't understand why you wouldn't be excited about submitting work to An Focal or any of your university newspaper. Firstly it'll look great on your CV, you're contributing to your own college and it's something you can hold in your hands, keep forever and be very proud of. I personally am calling on people to send in their best instagrams of UL. I joined Instagram about nine months ago and quickly realised that for me it was not about likes it was about taking really pretty photographs. But we do pride ourselves on getting nice photos for the paper. We do our best to include writing and photos of the highest quality.

At the moment we're currently collecting photos and articles for issue two. If you're a UL student I would encourage you to show us your work! I've noticed already that my Twitter is gaining followers and my confidence is growing. If it's something you haven't tried before I think you should step out of your comfort zone and give it a try.

If you click the links below they will take you to our social medias and believe me we really do appreciate every like, share and follow!

Being on co-op has been a really interesting experience so far and it's safe to say I'm enjoying it thus far. I've got a lot planned for the next few months and I hope this experience to lead to even more exciting things. Thanks so much for reading.

All pictures used are merely decorative and belong to their respective owners.

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