God Worked Through His Deception

I wrote this post for Lively Stones and can be found here!


I was reading Genesis 27:19-33, which is the story of how Jacob, with the help of his mother Rebekah, deceived his father, Isaac and stole his older brother Esau’s blessings.

I considered the fact that Jacob actually used deception as a means to receiving blessings from his dying father – this was a blessing that was due to the elder twin, Esau. The fact that Isaac had reserved this blessing specifically for Esau also implies that there was another, perhaps a smaller, less passionate blessing reserved for his second son Jacob. But Jacob (and his mum) wanted that first-born, hefty blessing.

Why would God allow their deceptive plan to work? Why would he allow Jacob to be blessed through the deception of a blind old man?

Well, it all stems to a few chapters back in Genesis 25 when Rebekah is pregnant with the twins.

22: The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23: The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

From the beginning there had been a power struggle between Jacob and Esau and from the beginning, God had made it clear that Jacob would be on top of his brother. Rebekah must have kept this in her mind since their birth and have constantly been looked for opportunities for this prophesy to be manifested. Because God had decided this, I believe that no matter whether Isaac wanted to bless Jacob or not, Jacob would have been blessed. It was already ordained.

When God has a plan for your life, a destination, a destiny, I believe there are different paths to reach it. There is the path that God has initially created for you. This path has His divine backing all of the way, but that does not mean that it is smooth all of the way. Let me be real, with God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

With God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

As well as the path God has planned for us to take, there are paths outside of His will that we, as humans, often stumble across because sometimes we think we know it better. We do not. While these paths were not where God wanted us to go, He will still use our circumstances to elevate us to that final destination. That is what happened here!

God was NOT happy with Jacob deceiving his dad and Jacob did have to suffer later on in life as a result of his actions. Jacob even had someone deceive him – his uncle Laban made him work more years than agreed to marry his daughter. God has a sense of humour, so be careful what path you try and follow, especially if you know that God is not a part of it.

It is comforting to know that in all things, God is in control. Even when we deviate from the script. Even when we getfaith confused and think we are making mistakes. God can work through our situations to make us strong, wiser and better, ready for His ordained plan for us. Whether we feel like we are on the wrong course at university or we are confused about our futures – find peace in the knowledge that God’s got our backs.

Practically speaking, pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump. One thing I have learnt this year is that in certain areas, what God wants us to do is not always clear. So just pray and jump. And trust that He will be there to catch you because He will be.

Pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Things that happened this year that I am thankful for – 2015 + video

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2015 has been a whirlwind of highs and lows (mainly highs). This post is going to highlight some of the highs in a bid to be thankful to God for everything that has happened this year.  So, in no particular order;

  • 2015 is the year I successfully completed my A Levels. This is a big deal to me because no one but the Lord truly understands how hard I worked and how stressed I was at that time.
  • Following on from the previous point, 2015 is the year I began university. I can honestly say, uni is THE best thing to have ever happen to me. I love all the new people from all over the UK I have met. I love the independence. I love how much I have surprised myself. I love that everyday is different and some how even the most mundane, routine of tasks seems fun to me.
  • 2015 is the year I was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Television Production and Broadcast Journalism Bursary. I think sometimes I forget how amazing this actually is. I am one of a handful of undergraduates who it was awarded to. Also, the RTS are such a respected organisation, I know I am learning from the best of the best.
  • 2015 is the year I worked on NCS. National Citizen Service is a youth program that I was actually a part of a few years ago, so to come back and work on it, as a mentor, was amazing. I have never worked this hard before but at the same time, it was so fulfilling knowing I was making a difference in the lives of the young people I worked with over the summer.
  • 2015 is the year I went on a weekend away retreat with my uni’s Christian Union. This may not be a big deal to some people but it was to me. Despite growing up in a Christian home, I did not have the conventional ‘Christian Kid’ childhood of going to Christian summer camps and Sunday schools and all that good stuff. This weekend was quite pivotal in my Christian walk because I learned to stop judging other Christians. Plainly put, I was seeing God through the lenses of other Christians around me. I was not seeing that they were broken, messed up people just like me.
  • Nicely following on, 2015 is the year that my relationship with God has grown. I think this has a lot to do with university. At uni, God became my God and no longer the God of my parents. I had to go and find out what I believed and why I believed it. No one could believe on my behalf any more. I am still not yet where I need to be, but I am definitely getting there.
  • 2015 is the year my confidence grew in terms of singing in front of people. I have grown up singing in front of a congregation at church but I used to be terrified to sing any other time. I still get terrified, but I heard nerves can be good. This year I sang in my Senior Prom in front of my whole year group. This year, I also sang at an open mic night at uni. Both these performances were huge steps for me.
  • 2015 is the year I fulfilled my childhood dream of going to a WWE live event. I grew up watching WWE with my family and we always spoke of the day we would go and watch it live. It is the best feeling when you finally do something that the younger you has always wanted but believed would never happen – so fulfilling.
  • Last  but not least, 2015 is the year I continued to be dedicated to this blog and to my YouTube channel (click here to Subscribe ). My budget, time and sometimes motivation has been limited this year yet I am proud of the content I have put out to the world. 2016 everything will be bigger and better.

I have grown a tremendous amount this year. God has been so good. Please join me and be grateful for this year because it puts you in a good, prepared mindset for 2016.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Jehovah Jireh, My Provider

Guys, this is a really real, really raw post, because right now, in this very moment, I am feeling some really real, really raw feelings.

It is days like this, moments like these that I begin to understand why they call God Jehovah Jireh! He is a provider. When you need something, He will supply it for You.

Coming to University was a new experience for me. It was my first real taste of actual independence. I am an adult. I am in charge of what I do, where I go, what I eat and perhaps most importantly where I spend my money.

This summer before uni, I got a job and worked really hard with the intention of saving money. However, as soon the money touched my bank account, it seemed to instantly evaporate literally into thin air. I suddenly had all these expenses and I watched as my hard-earned money disappeared.

You do not realise the value of money until you work for it yourself. You start to question all your purchases, like “This dress is worth 2 hours of work. Is it really worth it?”

I then got to the stage, nearly a month into uni, when I realised that food is expensive. So are textbooks. So are clothes and washing and printing and buses. Everything costs money and I was running low on the stuff.

So I did what any reasonable person would do. I called my parents. I expected a swift transfer of money into my account, instead I was met with “Trust in the Lord, Paula. Don’t worry.”

Okay. My parents  quoting Bible scriptures is a normal occurrence for me and usually it is quite comforting, but not this time. Like, obviously I trust in the Lord but can you just transfer some money to me please???? [They did eventually send me some money. Eventually!]

But reluctantly I did. I trusted in God and left the fact that I had no money in His hands and did not allow it to ruin my day.

I call Him Jehovah Jireh because He provides in ways that are beyond our imagination. He provides through means that we are not even aware of.

If you take Him as your Jehovah Jireh, He will show up strong. Just call out to him, leave it in His hands and trust in Him.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

University, here I come

I have been making myself seem busier than I actually am in order to ignore the fact that I am going to university in 4 days and 3 nights.

But I can’t ignore it – on Sunday the 20th of September, I will be leaving my family home and going to university.

Do you want the truth? (This is the part where you expect me to pour out my emotions and express how nervous and anxious I am feeling about basically starting a new life – a new independent life – on the other side of the country.) The truth is, I am just not that nervous.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep and I kept subconsciously telling myself ‘it’s the nerves’ and rightly so. But truthfully, I am not that scared. There is obviously some excitement there, but other than the bare minimum, I just want to go and start my new life.

Here’s why: Every year of my life, every birthday, every new school academic year, every new job, I always try and reinvent myself and be the Paula I have always wanted to be. Halfway through that year, I realise that I haven’t changed that much.  It took many years for me to accept the Paula I am, and that is when I became a grown up (still questionable). I am excited for uni because this is the place where the real Paula will be unleashed (questionable verb choice, yes I know. It conveys imagery of unleashing a deadly virus which I promise was not deliberate). At uni, I won’t know anyone so I won’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations of who Paula is. I won’t even have to live up to my own.

The only expectations I will live up to is what God has made me to be, because I’m still in the process of figuring that out. University is the perfect setting to discover who you truly are, without the input of others.

So, if you are nervous about university – whether you are staying at home, moving across the country or even going to another country – just remember that this is your opportunity to find out who your really are. It is the time and place to discover what you are passionate about and what special, fantastic thing you bring to the world.

Be excited and prepared and excited (yes, I said excited twice). Make lots of new friends, have lots of fun (responsibly) and learn lots of new things.

Here’s to the first year of the rest of our lives!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

The Treasures of the Heart

  

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Whatever thing (or person) that is always in your mind becomes a god or an idol on your life. Whatever thing (or person) is the first thing you check in the morning or constantly do because you feel incomplete without it; it has taken control over you.

As I write this, I have just come back from a weekend away from social media. No I didn’t go anywhere and yes I still used my phone, but I just made the conscious effort to not check my Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp and Snapchat apps all weekend. I did this because they were controlling my life. Without even needing to exaggerate, I would find myself waking up and checking snapchat before even praying. I would find myself obsessing over how many likes I got on Instagram. It was getting bad.

I was beginning to care more about what other people thought about me than what I thought, and more importantly, what God thought. My days were merging into one because I wasn’t getting the things I wanted to get done done, due to spending hours on my phone messaging people. My Bible app lay dormant while my Twitter app worked overtime overheating my phone.

It was time. And it felt good. I don’t need to focus on what the world is doing. I just need to focus on what I am doing.
Peace&Love. 

Paula Melissa xx

A LEVEL RESULTS DAY 2015 – ROYAL TELEVISION BURSARY SOCIETY

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I am going to university!

I achieved and acceded the grades I needed to get into my dream university (which shall remain anonymous for security reasons and whatnot). I am so happy today, because it feels like my life is falling into place. And rightly so. Anyone who knows me, knows I work hard – extremely hard – for every single thing I have in life. In that way, I am entitled to feel a sense of pride in myself, but mainly in God. Thank You, God for giving me the strength to go to the library to study every day from 9am til 8pm. Thank you for giving me the focus to study instead of going out all of the time. All of the short term sacrifices have been worth it in the long term.

My A Level grades were AAB. Now to some people, that is amazing. To others, that is nothing. It doesn’t matter what they are to others however, because they are fantastic to me.

Another reason why I believe that today is one of the best days of my life is that, because I have been accepted by my university, I have received a bursary package from the Royal Television Society (RTS).  The RTS are an educational charity that work primarily in television, broadcast journalism and television production. To find out more about them, click here. They are a big deal because they know all of the important people in the industry. Being a part of them will give me unbelievable opportunities to network with the who’s who of the business, allowing me to potentially get a job in broadcast journalism when I graduate.

This opportunity is only awarded to twenty people in the UK, every year. Only twenty people. And I am one of them. The fact that I am one of the twenty continues to blow my mind. This very blog (along with other of my projects) was hailed as one key influencer in me getting long listed, short listed then the actual bursary. So, I must thank you, as the readers, for motivating me to continue to write.

Today is a good day for me. Today might have felt like a unpleasant day for some, especially if things did not go to plan. But please remember nothing is really the end of the world (expect the actual end of the world). I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Just because your life is going in a direction that was not initially planned, does not mean that your life will not be great. I know this sounds cheesy coming from me, someone who got exactly what they wanted from today, but I know what I am saying directly from experience. Life can be so disappointing sometimes, then you realise that the disappointment was a blessing in disguise. You wouldn’t be the person you are without those disappointments and ‘failures’. Enjoy every season in life that you find yourself, and learn everything  you can from it.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

(Undergraduate Journalism Studies student)

Why are we waiting? [Guest Blogger]

‘It seems to me that in the modern age, everyone is in some sort of rush. And it’s understandable, I guess. With social media, the Internet etc., everything is always instant and available at the push of a button. This is only ever going to lead to a constant sense of restlessness and a generation obsessed with phone checking (don’t worry youth, I feel you. I’ve just described myself!)
But why, then, does nobody appear to rush to do the things that matter, before it’s too late? We only have to watch a romcom to know that sadly, people can lose touch, either by distance or unfortunate circumstances, and fail to be reunited until it’s too late. I’m not trying to provoke feelings of guilt or regret here, but maybe the right word for the sentiment is realisation, or, the expression ‘carpe diem’.
Another phrase we hear a lot is ‘yolo’. More often than not, it is associated with reckless actions of possibly drinking (a world I’m most certainly unaware of), taking risks for the sake of impressing others and looking cool, or even denying responsibility altogether. But this is not the meaning of the phrase in my book.
I feel that the answer lies deep down, as it always does, with faith, and with putting everything into perspective. It’s a sad scenario, but picture being trapped on the other side of a glass window from someone you care about, unable to communicate except through facial expression and eye contact. What would you want to say? And is it something they don’t know already?
I guess this has gone onto a darker path than I intended. Maybe this derives from the fact I’ve been watching a little too much Call the Midwife lately, or maybe it’s the documentary I saw last night, ‘Before I Kick the Bucket’. It was an inspiring programme about the value and reasons behind ‘bucket lists’.
Personally, I don’t think bucket lists are the best way of living at any stage of life, because since when has ticking boxes made us feel truly satisfied (says the girl with a list for everything!)? By satisfied I mean truly content with life, you know, that warmth you feel in your heart when you touch someone or, even warmer, when someone touches you emotionally. That’s the sort of feeling you can’t get from ticking off bucket lists (by that I mean the kinds of lists that involve lots of high energy, adrenaline filled physical sports). It’s very likely that I’m wrong on that front, though. After all, satisfaction is such a personal thing.
But moving onto what I think is the solution, if there ever can be, to these feelings of regret that we all seem to experience at times (we need only look at @SixthFormProblems to know the dissatisfaction associated with the education system) mentioned by a psychologist on the bucket list programme. It’s people. After all, isn’t that what everyone thinks of when they’re in their time of need? As well as, crucially, our religious faith, I think people hold the key to making us happy! We’ve known this all along and it’s been said decade after decade. Regrets won’t be needed if you’ve told the closest people to you how much they mean to you, and sharing your ups and your downs with them. In a religious sense, I feel that God often reveals Himself in the form of wonderful human beings that we meet in our lives, and we have something to learn from each of them (Side note: listen to For Good from Wicked for more in this vein). It isn’t easy for anyone to wear their heart on their sleeve and share emotions with others, sometimes especially those closest to you, when it could hurt them. But the sense of sharing your life, your sorrows and your joy, with others, is such a precious and valuable gift. I realise this may not entirely link in with the initial point about rushing life, but in a way it does. We’re forgetting the things that matter in this whirlwind of instantaneous responses, and that’s the physical presence of our loved ones.
So I think the conclusion of this complete brain splatter is that though instant messages travel fast, they’re often short lived and temporary. Make more time for the physical memories that we tend to hold in our hearts forever. Cheese alert!!
Thanks for reading🙂’
Written by Jenna Noronha
Peace&Love.
Paula Melissa xx

Comparing yourself with others

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When I was a little younger, I had officially come to grips with the idea that I am not as ‘naturally pretty’ as other girls. Where I got this idea from, I do not particularly know, but I do know that I believed it with all of my heart. In my young mind, some people are just beautiful. They were born with the lucky combination of chromosomes that made them gorgeous. But it is not all bad, because the rest of us have strengths too. Some of us were born with smarts, some can sing and dance, some have the undeniable talent to make people laugh. I did not believe I was given beauty, but that was okay because I exploited my strengths. I sang, I made people laugh, I worked hard in school, I wrote and I was a good friend to people who needed me. All the while, I never felt like not being ‘conventionally pretty’ hindered me. If anything, it empowered me, because I believed that everything I had, I had earned and didn’t have just because I was nice to look at.

Looking back, it is clear that I only had this view about myself because I compared myself to other people.

For most people, comparing yourself to others just distracts you from the many good qualities you hold. You might be amazing in one aspect, but complete overlook it because someone else shines bright in one particular thing. I learnt that I was beautiful. Maybe not in the conventional way, but then again, who wants conventional? I learnt that some of the things that make some people pretty do not work for me. I had to find indiviudal things that worked for me and made me confident and gorgeous. I think I have.

If you realise something does not work for you, you either forget about it or make it work for you. Life does not give you time to whine and cry about things that do not work, because there will be many things that do not work. If you do not work hard for it, you do not deserve it. Simple as that. And if you get things without working for them, you will not fully understand its value.

I am proud of the beautiful, young woman I have become today, mainly because I worked hard to become her. Because of this, I fully understand my value. I do not ever need to compare who I am, what I am, what I have to someone else, because I am enough. Until I realised this, I was incomplete, whether I realised it or not. If more people could see their worth, they would not care so much when they are cast down or told they are not good enough.

When I was a little girl, I was ‘encouraged’ to join my church choir, mainly because they desperately needed members. I had no interest in music and singing, I was much too busy with things nine-year old girls do. But I joined and soon I realised… I hated it. It was not for me, so I believed. I couldn’t hit the high notes, it took up way too much of my time and to make matters worse, the members were incredibly rude. They were not afraid to tell a nine-year old girl that she really could not sing. After crying on multiple occations, I realised they were probably right. Compared to the adults in the choir, I could not sing at all. However, I also realised that if I kept working hard, I will be able to sing. Fast forward a decade or two, and here I am. I can sing. I may not be Mariah Carey, but I can definetly hit more notes than I could then. The point of my anecdote is to demonstrate that comparing yourself with other people can also be a positive thing, but only if you use the comparison to motivate you. If you do it to pinpoint all the bad things about yourself, then it is not helpful.

You do not need someone to make you realise that you are better than where you are in life, right now. You just need yourself to make that first step to improvement. But sometimes it can be just as helpful to have people to measure against, just to show your progression.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

#DearMe – VIDEO – What would you tell your younger self?

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So recently, I kept seeing YouTube advertising this #DearMe hashtag. After a little bit of digging, I discovered it was part of a celebration of International Women’s day. The hashtag accompanies videos where YouTubers say words of encouragement and advice to their younger self.

Here’s the original video on YouTube.

It inspired me to think about what I would tell younger Paula. What should she have known that would have made growing up a lot easier? So I filmed this quick video!

Enjoy, and think, what has changed in your life? What have you overcome growing up? What would you tell your younger self to worry less about?

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Youth on Abuse

I feel proud to be a young person whilst writing this post.

I feel proud that there are young people making a change and standing up for what they believe in. Inspiring young people is my passion, which is why I am always quick to praise and promote some encouraging, like-minded youth.

Suraj is seventeen and the founder of ‘Youth on Abuse’. ‘Youth on Abuse’ is a recently established campaign which aims to educate young people on the realities of domestic violence, through workshops at high schools and primary schools. Its primary focus is to highlight any stereotypes young people may have about victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, whilst allowing pupils to understand the forms that abusive relationships may take. This includes understanding its financial, sexual, psychological, physical and emotional shape.

Domestic violence can be such a hard, emotional subject to discuss. It can take a lot of courage to openly discuss and examine the issue. I think ‘Youth on Abuse’ is an amazing group because it demonstrates to men and women that have had to deal or are having to deal with abuse and violence, that we care. We as young people care about the problem and we are committed to deal with it.

Recent surveys reveal 40% of teenagers are already being subjected to relationship abuse. Both my parents are marriage councillors and they always say at their seminars, “Do not allow your marriage or relationship to be based on fear or dread of the other person. Get out of a relationship where you are being abused.” I totally agree but at the same time, I am not naive to believe that it is always as easy as packing your bags and leaving. That is why I respect this charity, for being a voice for people who cannot speak out.

The ‘Youth on Abuse’ aim to lower the amount of people subject to relationship abuse by implementing three elements of their strategy: Protection, Prevention and Education. They aim to fill young people with knowledge that will carry them through their adult lives and therefore positively influence them when building their future relationships. If from young ages people can learn that certain behaviours and certain acts are not okay and are not expectable in our society, we will see a significant decrease in domestic violence and relationship abuse.

“A few people have raised the issue that because we are a young group who aren’t specialised in this topic, the campaign won’t be effective.” Suraj says, completely aware of the criticisms ‘Youth on Abuse’ has received. “But I think it’s about being open to a neglected issue within our community and beyond, not necessarily being qualified. So I guess our greatest weakness is our greatest strength because the campaign puts emphasise on young people interacting with other young people on an ignored issue.”

I am a such a romantic, which means I love love and the idea of being made specifically compatible for that special someone. Domestic violence and relationship abuse is the worst thing because it takes away that joyful part of your life, and makes it a burden that you have to carry. If you genuinely believe that everyone deserves true love, as I do, you will support this campaign.

Please follow ‘Youth on Abuse’ on twitter (https://twitter.com/YouthOnAbuse) to keep updated with the movement.

Peace&Love

– Paula Melissa xx

Not-so-happy Valentine’s day

So, are you one of those hopeless romantics that love Valentine’s day, or are you a complete hater of love, flowers and floating babies that shoot arrows?

The topic of Valentine’s day is a funny one for me mainly because I don’t think it is that big of a deal. It should be a day you spend a little more time (and money) on someone special in your life. Whether this is your beau, girl or even your mummy. I feel like that should be the nit and grit of Valentine’s Day.

Every year, on the 14th February, I scroll down my timeline on twitter to find a million and one people tweeting things like, “Happy singles awareness day”, “I’ll buy myself chocolate, I don’t need you to do it for me”, “Valentine’s day isn’t even a real holiday!” “It’s just another Saturday to me, to be honest!” People can be so dramatic, and that’s coming from Ms Drama Queen herself. Honestly, if you find yourself single on Valentine’s day, buy yourself chocolate. Okay. Fine. But don’t tweet about it. What are you trying to prove? Because if you feel like you HAVE  to post about it, then you’re probably not as happy as you’re trying to let on. On the other side of the spectrum, if you find yourself happily coupled up on Valentine’s day, enjoy it. Enjoy the day, the company, the foooood.

Now looking at my blog title, I smile at myself. Why shouldn’t Valentine’s day be happy. If you have people that care and love you, then you deserve a happy Valentine’s day. Forget about the pressure of ‘coupling up’ for Valentine’s day, just so you can post a picture with ‘Bae’ on Instagram or Facebook.

I wanted to understand Valentine’s day a little bit more, and stumbled across this interesting little old video. It’s an oldie but still as relevant as ever.

So this Valentine’s day, let’s love ourselves and other people more, instead of feeling bad and alone just because we haven’t found the perfect person for us yet. This Valentine’s day let people know you love them and that you value them in your life. If you do that, it will be a Happy Valentine’s day.

 

Peace&LOVE.

Paula Melissa xx

How to become a Journalist

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I want to be a journalist. I’ve wanted to be a journalist for quite a long while. My desire to be a journalist gave birth to this blog three years ago. My next step in this journalism journey is going to university to study it, later this year. Wooooo!

Over the past couple years, I have been advised and I have researched intensively how to improve myself to ensure I am ready to become a journalist.  I am by no means an expert in this field yet obviously, but I have a few tips that hopefully will steer you to the right direction, especially if you want to be a presenter, journalist, reporter or writer.

  1. First of all, you need to love reading and writing. As obvious as this sounds, you would be surprised how many people want a career in Journalism, but groan when asked about books or panic when asked to write a short story. Mate, you need to love reading and writing.
  2. Secondly, you need work experience or work placements. This needs to be done as soon as humanly possible. Seriously, start now. It doesn’t even matter if you haven’t finished high school yet – get work experience. Now, I mean no disrespect when I say this but when I say work experience, I am not referring to working in a primary school or a retail outlet. What I mean is in the media industry – intern in your local newspaper, magazine or radio station. Or all three. Anything and everything is valuable experience. Here are a few good sites to begin your search for placements, work experience, internships and apprenticeships: https://gothinkbig.co.uk/, http://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/, http://www.bauermedia.co.uk/ and https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/finding-job.
  3. Thirdly, get yourself online. Nowadays, everything is online and we (as young journalists) need to use this to our advantage. All these media outlets and institutions are now increasingly using social media and online services. The online world is constantly expanding and evolving, rapidly – do not allow it to leave you behind! You (as a young journalist) need a twitter account. It is necessary to find out about news and opinions on news stories, literally as they are happening all over the globe. Keeping up with current affairs is everything (forget Keeping Up with the Kardashians) in this profession. Make sure you follow broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, radio shows and media cooperation (follow me while you’re at it: PaulaPaceSetter;) such as; The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Independent, Sky News, BBC News, Radio 1 etc. You cannot be a journalist if you aren’t interested in the world around you. You cannot live in a social bubble.
  4. Start researching universities from now. This one may be a little early or a little late depending on how old you are, but generally this is an important step in the whole journey. Find a course that balances all media platforms, especially online journalism which is an emerging mode. Also, make sure you find a course that is taught by established and practising journalists – that way they aren’t teaching out of date content.
  5. This one closely follows the previous step but is SO important it deserves it’s own number. Only go for universities that are NCTJ accredited. The National Council for the Training of Journalists has been training journalists since 1951. This course is the industry benchmark that ALL editors value and expect from their journalists. Make sure you go to a uni that offers this qualification alongside your BA or MA in Journalism because trust me when I say, it will be much harder to get a job with just a regular journalism degree. Do not waste three or four years of your life on something that doesn’t open doors to your dream job.
  6. Ensure that you can spell and write in good grammar. This seems really silly and small but honestly this is super super important. I recently completed (and passed) a 2-hour Journalism admission test at a university and honestly, I almost fell at the hurdle of the spelling and grammar part. It made me realise how much work I need to do on spelling. I cannot rely on spellcheck forever.
  7. At any stage in the Education system when you are deciding what subjects to do, ensure you pick essay based subjects. You need to learn how to cohesively structure writing in and interesting but functional way. Here is a list of subjects I suggest from; English Language, English Literature, English Language and Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Media Studies, History, Geography, Law, Government and Politics, Philosophy and any modern foreign language.
  8. Lastly, practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Find a story in your local area, get interviews and write an article. Just write. Then ask someone to read it and get feedback. then build on that feedback and build up a portfolio of your work. This blog is kind of my version of that.

 

I hope this tips are some what helpful. If they are, I’m glad.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa x

 

FRIENDSHIP

A friend (within or outside marriage) is that person who will still hold your hands when you are in error.

A friend is the person who may be unable to solve your problem but can give you a shoulder to lean on.

A friend is the person who can listen to you even when you are not making sense.

A friend is the person you are not afraid of sharing your struggles with.

A friend is the person who can still call you ‘my friend’ when you do not deserve it.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you. Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭13-16‬ ASV)

 

– written by anonymous guest writer

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’