How journalism and Ka Leo Na ‘Opio has helped me in college


A couple of photos of California University of Pennsylvania, more commonly referred to as CalU

Jenna Nickl, Feature reporter

Life is a series of preparation. Primary school prepares us for high school, high school prepares us for college, college prepares us for employment, and ultimately, employment prepares us for retirement. And throughout each of these stages in life, we don’t quite realize how prepared or unprepared we are until we are experiencing these phases ourselves. Until I was immersed into the college atmosphere, I never quite realized how advantageous taking journalism in high school really was.

In all of my six classes at California University of Pennsylvania, I’ve found myself utilizing writing, reading and communications skills I was taught in journalism. For example, if peers in my English Composition class want to have their papers checked for errors, they have to lug their bodies to Noss Hall and make an appointment with the Writing Center. Here I sit, in the comfort of my cozy dorm, with a strong enough back bone in writing convention and grammar to proofread my own work.  When my English professor assigns essays, I don’t panic. I sit down, formulate my ideas like Mrs. Pasco taught me and comfortably process them into a conventional, A-worthy essay. I’m not saying I’m a perfect writer, far from it. But just knowing where to place commas or correct subject-verb agreement can make all the difference amidst hectic college life.

High school journalism has also aided me in communicating with people, formally and informally. By broadcasting on the morning bulletin, I became less nervous and more at ease with my speaking ability. At college orientation, I was more comfortable in speaking with strangers and have made great acquaintances through verbal communication. Just today, I was assigned to present a speech to my Freshmen Seminar class and if I hadn’t learned how to speak in front of a crowd, I would’ve been a lot more nervous. Also, as editor my junior and senior year, I had to learn to send professional emails to editors of more official publications like the Tribune Herald, North Hawaii News and Kohala Mountain News. It’s important to learn this type of professionalism from a young age, because, as I’ve figured out in college, the students who are polite and businesslike impress professors and future employers.

College is an intimidating and nerve-racking phase in life, but I can personally attest to the benefits of taking high school journalism. You won’t regret it.