This blog post has been contributed by Lasya Karthikeyan, Student Editor of Vol.2 Issue 6, May-June 2013.
Being a Student Editor at ParentEdge gave me so much more than what I’d initially expected.
During my time as an intern, I had to write about a whole spectrum of issues and be able to convey certain ideas and concepts that I wasn’t as familiar with as I would have liked. As a student myself, it was a little difficult at first to produce content for a parenting magazine. I was unfamiliar with what people who were much older than me discussed, what aspects of their lives as parents they wanted to change, what they considered obstacles and rewards and what they wanted to read. It seemed impossible for a teenager to possibly write articles for a magazine primarily read by parents. However, as time passed, I learnt that me being a writer who was much younger than the target audience was actually beneficial instead of a drawback, because I was able to bring in new perspectives and dimensions to the pieces I wrote and use inputs from my own experiences as a young adult to write articles of relevance. For example, when I was given a piece on a particular recipe, instead of only considering the health aspect and the nutritional value, I would consider whether I would eat the dish if it was served to me. After all, it was a recipe for children and I knew the kind of food children enjoyed, because that’s the type of food I still like eating in my day-to-day life.
One of the things I loved about my experience was that I had the opportunity to speak with talented, creative and inspirational people from various fields. This kind of interaction is so important for young people, because its essential they know that pursuing a career that you’re passionate about is one of the most crucial keys to success; as opposed to the routine of following a career that brings in a stable income which is what society conditions us to believe is necessary and defines as success.
What a lot of us fail to understand about writing for a magazine is how difficult it is to actually get an article published. After the article is written, the burden is far from over. There are corrections, endless re-working of the same sentences, illustrations, quotes and endless emails back and forth to multiple people- very few of whom you will actually know personally. Due to this chain of events that have to unfold after the articles are actually written, I learnt that deadlines are sacred. There have been times where I’ve had exams the next day, been miserably sick or had problems with my laptop- sometimes all three at once- and still had to find a way to make sure that my articles were in by the earliest possible time. The Student Editor experience will instill a sense of constant responsibility in you. Not the kind of overwhelming responsibility that’s considered a burden, but just enough so you know that you’re in charge of something that’s real and important. This actually becomes enjoyable, because as teenagers, we’re always trying to find a way to be independent of authority and prove that we’re responsible and grown up to our parents and teachers and elders around us. This internship is a healthy way of exercising that responsibility under an Editor who is not looking to breathe down your neck, but instead help you grow as a writer and develop positive traits of character in the process.