At such a busy time of year, scrolling through the news doesn’t always seem to make things better. A 2018 study reported that over half of Americans find that the news causes them stress, anxiety, fatigue and sleep loss. Although it is important to stay informed, particularly on news stories that require urgent and collective action, sometimes a bit of good news is what we need.
This inspired Emily Coxhead to create ‘The Happy Newspaper’, an online and print publication to ‘share positive news and wonderful people’. Her newspapers are released quarterly and can be delivered or picked up in several locations across the UK.
The transition from studying a degree in Maths and Physics to a Masters in Science Communication was a much welcomed change for me. Not only was I fed up of the multitude of exams in my undergraduate course, but I was also craving the chance to be more creative. Thankfully the last six months studying science communication have not disappointed.
Kick-starting the creativity
In the spring term I chose to study a module called Narrative, which dissected the techniques that authors use to produce compelling texts. The assignment for this module gave us a chance to produce a short story of our own, incorporating the theory we had spent the last few weeks learning about.
“Are you writing a blogpost?”
“Well, yes, I have nothing else to… Umm, I have loads of other things to do, but nothing which could be done at 1am on a Sunday night…”
– Actual conversation by actual people on an actual Sunday night. Actually.
So what happened since I last posted? Hmmm nothing really… Just second year started, I signed up to way too many things, my to-do list is so long that it doesn’t fit above my desk, my diet is something like McDonalds-Subway-Dominos-BurgerKing on an infinite loop, I don’t remember the last time I had 3 proper meals in a day, my sleeping cycle is starting to vaguely resemble that of a computing student, so yeah, nothing really… But let’s start from the beginning.
So it all started with an email…
I was in the middle of exams, when I got an email back in May. The subject: “Summer communications work”. It was from the ChemEng Communications Officer… Ohh well, I thought it’s like a one-day something, some promotions, whatever. Then I read the email…
“…I am looking for someone to do some part-time work on departmental communications…”
“…The work would be quite varied, essentially assisting me and would consist of things such as writing short news stories, managing social media channels and putting together the newsletter…”
“…given your great work on the blog I thought I would approach you first…”
“…Please let me know if you’re interested…”
My first reaction was: OH MY GOD!!!