A Student of ‘Study Breaks’
This is not a paid promotion, I swear.
By Mattie Winowitch, Waynesburg University
Dear fragile young writer,
When I first stumbled upon “Study Breaks,” I was, as the kids these days would say, shook. As a Journalism major, I was mainly looking to grab extra bylines and experience from wherever I could. I had just finished writing for “The Odyssey Online,” which is mainly embarrassing to admit at this point. In all honesty, I probably could’ve smacked my head on my keyboard a bunch of times as a submission for my weekly article deadline and “The Odyssey” would’ve published it. Not kidding.
As you can probably tell, I was looking for something real; a writing platform that would make me feel and look like I knew what I was doing. Enter: “Study Breaks Magazine.”
“SB,” which is an online forum and print magazine based out of Texas, is awesome because its content (including articles, photography and artwork) is produced solely by and for college students. But, unlike everything else that college students do, it’s actually really cool and well put together.
Shortly after putting my application in for “Study Breaks,” I got accepted to join the team as a writing intern. Nine amazing months later, I have gained thirty-two bylines and a whole world of experience.
Maybe you’re a student journalist looking for a new writing gig, or maybe you’re just trying to bulk up your portfolio. Either way, here are six reasons why you should consider applying to write for “Study Breaks” RIGHT NOW.
1. You’ll meet amazing people.
Because “Study Breaks” is built around college students, by being a writer, you will end up meeting some fantastic people from all over the country. Depending on who’s in your Zoom (aka weekly video chat) group, you might end up getting close with a few writers you otherwise never would’ve met.
As for myself, I have ended up adding a lot of the writers I met along the way onto my social media, which not only allows me to stay connected with them on a personal level, but, has also generated so many new networking opportunities that will stick with me far after my “SB” writing career is over.
2. Your writing WILL improve.
I know, I know, you probably think your writing is perfect just the way it is; and hey, maybe that’s true. But, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that your skills might still need some work. By writing for “Study Breaks,” you automatically delve into intense editing sessions with a group of other college students from different schools and programs, along with Mark (the Editor in Chief who can—and will—be your BFF throughout the entire process).
You will not only get editing tips during those meetings, but also from an individual session with one of the “Study Breaks” editors. When I first started, the idea of my article being critiqued and torn apart by a bunch of strangers sounded horrifying, but looking back on my experience, those corrections made all the difference.
3. You’ll get to try new things.
Part of writing is having experience; we write what our senses take in on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes coming up with three story ideas every week seems like a daunting task, but it’s not so hard if you stay busy living and trying new things.
Whether it’s going out of your way to think more in-depth about a subject, listening to a new album drop or binging on a hit TV show, new experiences will bring you new ideas. Writing for “Study Breaks” can and will make you live with a purpose.
4. Did I mention the weekly bylines?
That’s right. One article per week with your name attached to it. Baller as hell.
5. You’ll feel like your words have meaning.
Before I wrote for “Study Breaks,” I wasn’t so sure about my writing or if anyone was even interested in reading my slightly mediocre words. But, when I started writing for “SB,” that suddenly changed when people became interested in sharing, liking and even commenting on the pieces I wrote.
I love the idea that through some of my articles, I have aroused enough thought in certain readers that they feel moved enough to leave a comment. (Meanwhile, I’m sitting here writing this at 2 a.m., not really caring about who reads my shitty commentary. But hey, now that this is my last article, I can say stuff like that without getting in trouble or being terribly judged).
6. You’ll surprise yourself.
Do you consider yourself bold? Outgoing? Strong enough to admit that you’ve made a mistake? Before I started writing for “Study Breaks,” I am not so sure that I’d use those words to describe myself. But now, after having the confidence to help others grow in their writing, as well as taking the heat for my own articles, I have grown from being a small, bean of a human to a large, strong, stalk of a person.
I also surprised myself by some of the topics I’ve chosen to write about throughout the past nine months. I wrote about things that I still struggle with, like my mental health, eating disorders and tough break-ups. These are things I probably wouldn’t ever say to the faces of my closest friends and family, yet, I wrote all my thoughts out and had them published online for anyone to see. And guess what? It helped.
If you’re a college student whose major has anything to do with writing or media, I strongly suggest you start writing for “Study Breaks.” It is tedious at times, and sometimes aiming for 1,000 words in an article feels like a stretch.
But, nothing beats the moment when your editor tells you they published your article without making any changes. Nothing beats seeing the person you interviewed share the article you wrote about them like it’s their most prized possession. In those tiny moments, all the late nights and hard work are suddenly worth it.
To learn more about writing for Study Breaks, go on their website at www.studybreaks.com/category/join-the-team. I personally can’t wait to read what you have to say.