How Has Live Magazine Helped Me?

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As Live draws to an end Thalia recalls how the platform helped her come out of her shell and got her closer to her career goal

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I won’t lie – my heart dropped a little bit when I was told that Live Mag was closing. Over the past year and a half, it has done more for me than I could have ever imagined or anticipated. It’s rare that you find a community so vibrant, so engaged, so…live.

I’ve known that I want to be a journalist since I was 12 but before coming to Live I lacked confidence in reaching this goal.

So, in hope of gaining some practice, for months on end I Googled “journalism work experience in London” and of course, I was met with pages of results. However, an overwhelming majority all shared a common requirement: ‘Candidate must be over the age of 18.’

Wanting to gain experience but being too young was seriously frustrating. I feel this is especially apparent in the journalism field – at 17 you’re too young to do anyhthing, yet at eighteen you’re expected to have various experiences under your belt.

*Cue my entrance at Live Magazine*

I’d heard about Live a couple of times, but had never looked into it properly. After a bit of digging, I discovered not only did they accept under-18s, they encouraged them to come along.

“If Live taught me anything, it is just to go for it…”

I clearly remember the day I first came to Live. Let me set the scene for you: early April 2014, Easter holidays, freshly turned 17 and so nervous I could feel a slight shake coming on. From the outset I was intrigued by everything – the open space office, the people, the stories, the ideas.

I remember being slightly intimidated in the editorial meeting, with people openly suggesting ideas seemingly unafraid of judgement. Everyone had a certain confidence, which I admired. I wished I could speak up, talk a little louder, or pipe in every once in a while.

Flash forward a few months and I was back at Live on work experience. In only five days I learned so much. I got to spend my time writing about things that were important to me in my own voice.

I realised the impact Live had when I went back to sixth form with some serious withdrawal symptoms. I made friends through Live. I had my first byline at Live. Live made me realise quite how much I want to write for a living. Heck, it helped me get a paid job as a copywriter! It’s weird to think that a year and a half ago, I hardly spoke to people I didn’t know. It’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s that I felt like I couldn’t.

I’m now in my first year of university, studying Journalism at City University (an institution I never believed I could get into,) surrounded by people who are just as enthralled by the media as I am. If Live taught me anything, it is just to go for it, even if on the inside you’re totally bricking it.

Live, I’ll miss you. Thank you for everything.


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