Maclay offers a variety of high school activities that students can participate in, such as sports, band, student council and academic clubs. While each activity provides different experiences, the school newspaper offers its own special benefits that students do not get to experience somewhere else. If you are looking for a new school activity or debating whether you should join the Andalusian, here are five reasons why you should become an Andy.

1. Learn about things around you

One of the biggest benefits of being a part of a school newspaper publication is that you become more aware of things around you. Whenever you write a news article, you research about the specific topic or event and interview people on campus about it. For example, if you are writing an article on school events like Convocation, class trips or special education, you get to interview people about what the event is, how it started and why it is important. This allows you to learn about your school community, which you would not be able to experience otherwise. The same thing applies to other types of articles. Writing and interviewing people about topics that are important to the community gives you an opportunity to raise your awareness in general, become more informative and learn about things behind the scenes.

2. Improve your writing skills

Writing is unquestionably one of the most fundamental parts of the school newspaper. In the Andalusian, you pick a new article every week and learn about how to write different beats of articles – news, opinion, feature, entertainment and sports. By exploring a variety of ways to write, getting familiar with the AP style guide and reading feedback from the editors, you get an opportunity to boost your writing skills, even if you are not a good writer in the beginning. In addition, writing for the Andalusian allows you to get a taste of real journalism and apply writing techniques that other English classes don’t teach. 

3. Meet new people

While writing is a basic element of the newspaper, it is most certainly not all about the newspaper. Another crucial skill that you learn in the Andalusian is talking to new people as you interview them. For most people, it could be nerve-wracking to start a conversation with someone they have never talked to before. In the newspaper, however, you get to practice the social skills that most classes don’t teach. On top of that, by talking to multiple people, you see different lives, perspectives and opinions of people in the Maclay community. Especially if you are writing a profile feature, you get to hear about a detailed background or aspect of the individual, which allows you to explore interesting stories of people and get to know them better.

4. Be in a supportive class environment

In the Andalusian, you meet new people not only through interviews but also through the class. In fact, the class environment of the Andalusian is very different from other classes because every Andy supports each other. Unlike most classes, the Anadalusian offers one of the most inclusive, fun and family-like classroom environments you will experience in high school. Since all members work together as a team, you get to interact with people from different grades and participate in team bonding activities. Therefore, being in the Andalusian teaches you teamwork-related skills that could be used outside of the field of journalism.

5. Make an impact

The most rewarding part of being in the Andalusian is that you contribute to your community as a student writer. In any article, you inform people, tell a story and spread awareness. In opinion articles, you get a chance to raise your voice by addressing problems, suggesting solutions and expressing your thoughts. By doing all of these, you influence the whole Maclay community in a positive way. Moreover, because only a few students are willing to take the responsibility and challenge themselves to do something they have never done before, being in the publication not only teaches you to step out of your comfort zone but also to gain confidence in whatever it is that you are doing.

The Andalusian gives you one of the most special experiences in high school as it enhances your general knowledge about your community, allows you to meet new people in a supportive environment and makes your opinion matter. Activities like interviewing people on campus, exploring different beats of articles and working together with your fellow staff members teaches you skills that you wouldn’t learn in other academic classes. Even if you are not a writing person, the Andalusian is definitely something you should consider joining because it is about so much more than just writing articles.