Putting Nerves to Rest

Michaela Alexander and Madalyn Riley

Imagine being at a camp that revolves around being outgoing and getting out of your comfort zone when that is what makes you want to slip out of your skin and be invisible. What would you do? Would you still participate in what you’re passionate about?

“Being with anxious people makes me feel uncomfortable and out of place. If they are feeling uncomfortable then I am feeling uncomfortable,” Outgoing personality spotlight and fellow Media Now camper Myles Bastain said. “I am an ice breaker; I will call on random people and ask them about their opinions and ask what they have to say. They will have to say something because I won’t do all the work. Why be a team and not do anything? People are shy because you don’t know the people around you but as soon as you get into the action. It only really takes on laugh, and then it get into action.”

Typically civilians think of journalists as people who are outgoing and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if that means embarrassing themselves occasionally and being okay with it. This isn’t the case for all journalists. There are the occasional shy journalist who isn’t comfortable with stepping outside of their shell and they go about journalism different to avoid uncomfortable situations.

“I consider myself shy when talking to people I don’t know, however being at a camp like this doesn’t affect that much at all,” high school journalist Kevin Lee said. “Get to know you games don’t really help or make it worse, it just keeps me in my shell. I’m terrible at memorizing names. I think being around the same kind of people helps me break out of my shell.”

Normally, to start off camps and school years, advisers plan ice-breaking activities to introduce the new staff and get everyone familiarized with each other. The ideals behind these tactics are to dissolve awkwardness among the students and hopefully spark new relationships throughout the staff. Sometimes for anxious or shy journalists, these activities sometimes do the opposite and push them further into their shells.

“I don’t really like get to know you games at all, they don’t help me get any more comfortable. I would prefer to just strike up a conversation with someone on my own rather than it be forced upon us,” Media Now journalist Tom Links said. “I am shy around people I don’t know and this camp does not change that at all. When Kate reads names off of a paper in large groups or picks people out of a crowd to go in front of them, I always hope my name does not get chosen, that is one of my biggest fears”

In hope for adaptation and determination to conquer hesitant journalists, upcoming editors in chiefs must figure out ways to ease these students without scaring them away in triumph.

“With shy students I think that they are just like any students just a little quieter and it takes a little more to get them going. Usually there is a lot more behind that shell, it’s just a matter of treating them the way different individuals need to be treated, to pull that shell away and to break out this other person and see who they really are,” new editor in chief Ethan Pender said. “Just getting to know someone and showing general compassion and concern for them and that you want them to be involved. I was always embracive and I said what i thought and in about five months I became editor. I plan to do an orientation night or like a boot camp for the upcoming staff who aren’t accustomed to fast pace journalism to learn.”