When I wake up to the ear-splitting sound of my alarm clock, and blindly search for the snooze button, a sudden thought dawns: "What am I doing?"
The time is 5:30 AM; there are no birds chirping, it is pitch black outside, and I can’t even imagine having to remove myself from my oh so very warm and comfortable bed.
I definitely didn’t miss this part over the summer.
Regardless, I still manage to rise out of bed at this ungodly hour to join my news crew for our morning show, and despite all of my musing, I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Most students dread the beginning of a new school year, but there’s nothing more exciting for me. Because coming back to school, means coming back to the studio. At Hoover High School, we create a show of announcements, segments, packages and voice overs every single morning from scratch. As a student production, we also must write, edit, produce, and direct all of our own content. There are no words to describe the chaos you feel when putting a production like this together, but in the midst of the chaos is where most of us find peace. As funny as it might sound, my summer days just did not feel complete without the printer running out of paper, a mic check resulting in the realization that we forgot to turn it on, or a wardrobe malfunction you would have to see to believe.
Hosting the Student Production Awards, attending journalism workshops, keeping up with my writing, and working on outside projects, I had not allowed my skills to rest over summer break. I dove into the work head first and landed a spot at the news desk for the first week on air. My first segment of the year walked the students through the transition into the fall season, and was followed by an update on this year’s presidential election. As I slipped on my favorite heels and grabbed my blazer each morning, I couldn’t help but notice these were the moments I felt the most like myself.
With so many changes on our staff, the stakes were high the morning of our first show. As the words of our director cuing the intro came through our earpieces, you could hear a pin drop amongst the staff in the control room. Cut by cut, the show ran smoothly and once we were finished everyone began to applaud. It was as if we were all reminded at once why we started this in the first place. It’s a feeling that has stayed with me ever since, and I hope to never lose it.
This goes to show, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you just might find your niche in high school. Fortunately, I am one of those people. When I joined my journalism class two years ago, I never would have imagined I would have the opportunities I do, nor did I think I would find something that gets me out of bed excited and ready to take on the school day. I am exceedingly grateful to be able to do what I love on a daily basis without a degree at hand.
As the first to arrive at my high school, and one of the last to leave, I can admit broadcast journalism is one hectic world to jump into, but there’s no place I’d rather be than back in the studio.
Jamie Landers is a senior at Hoover High School. Aside from being involved in her school’s broadcast class, HVTV News, Jamie hosts “Up to Date,” a TV11 show that steps away from the school and community to focus on breaking down national headlines. She is also managing editor of her school’s newspaper, The Viking Views, and a special events producer for SVN.
Along with academics, she is involved in theater, Agape girls, a mentorship program with middle school girls, and is in charge of media relations for Hoover's French Club. Jamie will attend The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism to pursue a career in broadcast