Being a Student Blogger
Being a student blogger
When I received an email at beginning of university explaining that the university marketing team were looking for student blogger, I had no idea that blogging would become a defining feature of my university experience. As part of the application, I wrote about leaving home – France – and everything I knew behind and the mix of dread and excitement I felt. For three years, I wrote about my course and essays, work experiences and life abroad.
It is only when I constructed my CV to apply for graduate jobs that I realised how valuable blogging had been and how much I had gained from it.
Communication and marketing
Literature students develop and possess excellent writing and communication skills. However, blogging was a different exercise. Far from critical writing, academic essays and pompous sentences, blogging forced me to keep my young target audience in mind and to think in a “marketing” and promotional way. Having total freedom over my posts, I was given this unique opportunity to refine my flexible writing skills and to get an insight into a higher-education institution’s marketing tactic.
Social media and online presence
It is impossible to imagine our lives without social media. Twitter became a fantastic tool which helped me reach a wider audience and directly engage with people and some of the university’s departments. All this contributed in building a network. Moreover, the 140-character limit (at the time) forced me to perfect my messages and to think more strategically about my posts.
As I became a more prolific blogger, my improved presence on social media led to better visibility and increased visits on my blog. All this, including regular online interactions with the campus art gallery, played a key role in giving me opportunities I would never have dreamt of, such as being invited as a media visitor during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in 2017.
Being organised is a key skill to help anyone succeed at university, but once you have to juggle between studies, work or volunteering and other commitments, excellent time-management can become essential.
I was always studious but found it difficult to consistently remain on top of my work during my degree. Blogging forced me to be even more rigorous as I wanted to release on average four articles per month. Many posts were written in advance but this involved a lot of planning, especially when new releases had to coincide with university or local events.
Overall, these constraints encouraged to me think creatively and to innovate (with vlogs and videos, for instance) to ensure that the content produced remained relevant and interesting.
I could not talk about my experience as a student blogger without mentioning the positive impact it had on my self-confidence. Since English is not my mother tongue, I had been worried about my English level and people’s judgement. Blogging provided the extra practice (as if reading tons of books and critical writing every week was not enough) I needed. This, in turn, improved my public speaking, writing, and capacity for self-reflection – looking back on my strengths and achievements. For all these reasons, I am forever grateful to have been given such an opportunity.
Anne-Sophie Kleczewski graduated from English Literature at the University of East Anglia in 2017. Whilst at university, she became a prolific blogger writing on student life and sharing her experiences as a European student in the UK. She is now an intern working on an educational project at Big C, Norfolk’s Cancer Charity, and also volunteers at Norwich Mind/Wellbeing Service and Banana Link.