Before I decided to study Russian I always wanted to be a journalist. I decided this after I realised that my dream of one day being a member of Steps was just never going to happen, but that I’d quite like to be the person that got to interview them! All through school and college everything I did pointed towards me being a journalist – all my GCSE’s and A-Level choices I made with this in mind and I even wrote a couple of articles for the local newspaper. Then I went to Russia and made the crazy decision to do Russian instead. But my journalistic side never went away and over the last couple of years it has come back with almighty force! Being in Russia is making me think hard about what I want after university. Do I want to move back here? Do I want to do more Russian? Or do I want to go and explore journalism properly, that I didn’t let myself do at university?
I remember before I came to Russia and I was looking at all the journalism courses at universities. This is what I had dreamed of doing for so long but none of them were right for me! I remember looking at the other girls who were applying for them – they were all so fashionable, so pretty and so girly. That was just not me. I think I was scared that I would never fit into that world and was put off so many courses. Then the whole Russia thing happened and that made more sense to me at the time. It’s taken me two years and actually moving to Russia to realise all this! I’m not trying to say that Russian was wrong for me at all, I think Russian is definitely what I needed to do. I needed to experience doing something that I was scared of. I needed to experience not being the best in the class. I needed to experience life in another country. I needed to realise my love of journalism without doing a course in it. But most of all I needed to grow up and get the confidence I needed to be able to take the media by storm!
Being in Russia has been one of the things that has shown me just how much I love journalism and the media. One of the things I miss the most is being involved in the student paper and doing a student radio show with my friend! I also realised that the biggest things I’m interested in from Russian culture is their celebrities, television programmes, magazines, radio stations and music scene. Most people are more interested in the history and politics of Russia. I’m just not and never have been really. People assume that I know a lot about the history and politics of Russia, and most of the time I can fool them into thinking I am actually knowledgeable on these subjects, but the truth is I scrape through in that side of my degree every year. At the beginning of this term we had to tell our teachers what we wanted to learn about from Russian culture, I was saying things like cinema, music, celebrities and the others in my class were all a lot more interested in the academic side of Russian culture. I like the idea of being an intellectual, academic girl who can debate on topics like Russian Foreign Policy. But alas, the best I can do is debate whether How To Look Good Naked is better in Russia or the UK.
I’m trying to figure out how I can incorporate this into my degree and then hopefully be a lot more interested and get a lot better mark! I’m thinking of writing my dissertation on the differences between the media in Russia and the UK. I’ve bought tons of magazines in Russian and every time I read them I know I’m comparing them to their British counterparts!
And then we’ll see what happens after university. Russia? The media? Both?