Student journalist Charlotte Lytton spent a week as the Guest Editor of IdeasMag, writing about student life and breaking into the arts. On her final day, she reflects on her experience of working at IdeasTap and engaging with our members on issues close to their hearts...
When I won the brief to guest-edit IdeasMag, I was surprised to say the least.
Being a typical student scatterbrain, I had forgotten when the deadline was and ended up hurriedly wracking my brains for artsy inspiration in the 20 minutes before it closed. And who says students are disorganised?
Thankfully, the lovely people at IdeasTap managed to make some sense of my silliness, and I was offered the role. I hotfooted it from Birmingham back to my hometown, London, to bring my theme of “students and the arts” to life at ’Tap towers (as the kids call it), and was greeted by a bunch of smiling faces as I blustered through the doors on Monday morning. After developing my ideas a little further, we had a team meeting to discuss the theme, and then off to work we all went in a busy week at the office.
I think it’s more than fair to say I have been riddled with the writing bug this week, hammering out all kinds of student friendly fodder about the realities of getting a job in the arts. I wrote an introduction to my theme to kick off the week, before delving deep into the dark underworld of the post-graduation gap for drama students. After a great response from you wonderful readers, I decided to take a slightly different tack, talking to people on either side of the drama school spectrum.
This was a really eye opening piece, and it brought home the important point that no one route can be right for everyone, and on top of that, life can often take you down a very different path to the one you started down. For many of our contributors, their plans changed down the line for the better, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Edging away from the performing arts arena came a look at whether student journalists are offered greater opportunities than freelance writers. Spending three years in the bubble that is university life can often lead to a harsh wake-up call upon leaving, so if you do have the opportunity to get involved with your uni rag, go for it. It’s fun, teaches you a lot, and the freebies are pretty immense. I also wrote a response to John Nugent’s excellent column about making career choices, which was a great way to highlight how subjective people’s approaches are to, well, everything.
It is now drawing to the end of my final day at IdeasMag, where I have been safely nestled in the editorial bosom of James and Luiza for the past week. It’s really only right to spend these last words highlighting the amazing work done by the staff here and the astounding opportunities that are making the impossible possible for members. In times of economic woe, it is easy to neglect the arts, but IdeasTap is a stellar example of people who refuse to do just that.
More on students and the arts:
John Nugent on career choices
Student journalism advice – from award-winning student journalists