In college, you’ll be asked to write a lot, regardless of whether you’re an English major or a pharmacy student. It’s an integral part of your education that helps you prepare for the working world, where you’ll be writing plenty of reports, emails, articles, and papers.
As a college student, you should also take the time to start blogging and writing your own articles. It doesn’t have to be for a publication, and you don’t have to create your own personal website to publish your work. You can put your writing up on LinkedIn, Medium, Svbtle, or any other blogging site.
Developing a writing habit in your college days carries through to your career and positively impacts your future work. It’s a great thing to put on your resume, it looks impressive to employers, and it presents you as a diverse individual with hobbies and passions.
So as you go through your studies, take the time once a week or a few times a month to write, edit, and publish a blog post or article. Here’s how to start.
Pick your topic
The best thing to write about is something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Love video games? Review the games you buy and write opinion pieces about the latest developments in the industry. Big tech fan? Talk about the latest cool apps and gadgets. Are you an amateur meteorologist? Start your own weather blog!
Wherever your interests lie, that’s where you can start picking your topic. From there, you can decide whether you want your blogging efforts to focus around one area or to go in a multifaceted direction. While it may be easier to stick to a single, unifying theme, if you have many passions you want to write about, go for it.
As you start writing, you may find yourself reporting straight facts without adding any flair or uniqueness. That’s only natural, as you’re still figuring out exactly what tone and attitude you want your writing to take. But before you hit publish on your first post, add something new to the conversation. Be opinionated, and back up those opinions with the facts you initially wrote down.
A personal blog isn’t meant to be written newspaper-style. Be a little outrageous and think outside the box with your writing. Feel free to give advice that may be seen as outlandish, as long as you back it up and properly qualify it for your audience. You have a young and fresh perspective on the topics you’ve chosen, and that will allow you to add value to any conversation.
And keep reading the written work of others in your field and beyond. It will help you learn the tone and style that fits your writing, and it will make you a better writer. Avoid parroting other writers, and instead add on to or critique their analysis of the same problems or topics you’re covering.
An important part of starting your blogging efforts in college is that you have the freedom to experiment with your writing. You can try various different styles, from hard-hitting commentary, to factual reviews, to creative short story or poetry pieces, and beyond. Play around with the various styles that appeal to you and find out what you want your collection of written work to look like.
The nice thing about starting while in college is that you have resources available to become a better writer. Head to writing workshops, work with your college writer’s corner to revise and improve your work, and chat with a professor in the English or creative writing department for advice.
Particularly important -- join student organizations that hold discussions and events relevant to your interest. Join the cooking club, or the meteorology club, or the creative writing club, and become a part of the conversation. Many of these clubs publish their own online blogs or magazines, giving you an opportunity to write for a structured organization.
Sharing your work should go far beyond your own circle of friends, family, and fellow students. It should expand out to other writers, bloggers, and even leaders and executives in the industry you’re writing about. You can most easily find these individuals on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you have something interesting to say and have written a blog post that adds to a conversation, reach out and present your work.
Not everyone will read it or give you the time of day, but a few people will be happy to connect. You can then learn from them about where your analysis was right and where it went wrong or how you can improve your creative writing. You can learn more about their insider’s view of the topic you chose. You can even make deeper connections and become friends with people in an industry you want to join.
This is a great way to network and set yourself up for an easy job search once you graduate, especially if your writing hobby is directly relevant to your career goals.
Most important of all is the fact that your writing should be enjoyable. It should be a way to pass the time, relax, and have a refreshing bit of fun with your written words (as opposed to the stress of written course assignments). So use your writing as a proactive pastime. Keep to a regular schedule, and keep improving as you learn more. The activity will help you get a head start in your career, directly or indirectly.