I’ve received a growing number of queries from high school and college students–and I love that! I believe writers shouldn’t wait until a certain age to get their byline out there. My first piece appeared in a newspaper when I was 17 and the editor never knew my age. Today we have a recent college graduate take us through what her typical day was like during her senior year. As you will see from her description below, she didn’t wait until graduation to get started on her writing career. Enjoy!

freelancing in college

Day in the Life of a College Writer
By Jordan Martinez

With going to college full-time, being copy editor for Veritas News, and living with three other girls, writing has been an arduous challenge with writer’s block and time management. However, when I do get to sit down for a brief fifteen minutes to write, I’m reminded writing is possible even in college.

I recently graduated from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts with a bachelor of arts in journalism and writing. Since then I’ve retreated back to Jacksonville, Oregon. While no day is exactly the same, I’m sharing one Wednesday–the longest day of my week–when classes were still in effect:

7:41AM – If my roommates’ alarms haven’t woken me up already, I turn off my alarm and jump down from the top bunk, praying my tired ankles don’t snap beneath me.

8:15AM – At breakfast I bring devotions, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, headphones, and the story I’m currently working on with me. I pray I’m awake enough to jot down a paragraph that moves my stalling story along.

9:05AM – Writing for Stage and Screen begins. I sit in a desk I’m sure is meant for a fourth grader and listen to classmates argue about what makes each other’s screenplays film-worthy. Every now and then I sprinkle in my feedback.

10:10AM – Chapel. As friends fill the pews around me, I dive back into No Country for Old Men.

10:40AM – Once worship is over and the speaker gets up to deliver his message, I resume reading, relishing McCarthy’s fast-paced writing style and vivid imagery.

11:15AM – I retreat to my room, where I have forty-five minutes to either write, read, draw, or watch Netflix. Thanks to McCarthy’s wonderful inspiration, today I write. I get a few pages down, more than I’ve managed in weeks. My heart thunders in my chest and my fatigued brain pulsates, telling me this story is still alive.

12:00PM – Lunch. Cafeteria lunch. Essentially, this is limp salad and water.

12:50PM – As usual, I enter an empty room for Feature Writing & Beat Reporting. My professor and three classmates gradually filter inside. We discuss where we’re at in our portfolios. I mention my debilitating case of senioritis, my classmates nodding sympathetically.

2:10PM – Editing and Publishing. I listen to the Color Spectrum by the Dear Hunter and write. Someone tries to get my attention while I have headphones in, resulting in fifteen seconds of the class staring at me before I notice anything.

3:10PM – Kassidy, the Editor-in-Chief of Veritas News, assigns this week’s stories. I help students generate ideas for their stories.

4:10PM – My roommate and I go on a run along Wollaston beach. Spring slowly takes residence in Massachusetts. I’m just thankful there’s no snow in April like last year.

5:00PM – Dinner. Cafeteria dinner. Essentially, this is more limp salad and water.

6:00PM – I assess my homework load for the night. I put World Mythology reading off for one more night; I’ve completely given up on Modernism and Post-Modernism since the midterm.

8:00PM – Netflix won over my attention for longer than I wanted. I finally send out emails to students and professors to gain interviews for my portfolio.

9:30PM – My desire to write is as strong as it was in the early afternoon, but my fear of writer’s block keeps me at bay.

10:30PM – As conversations about graduation and classes turn into persisting silence, I power down my laptop and get ready for bed.

10:40PM – I read No Country for Old Men for awhile then turn off the lights. I hope I’ll write more tomorrow.

Although I’m back in Oregon, I plan to return to New England in July for a friend’s wedding. Hopefully the trip will prove to me that warmth in the Northeast exists. Without the limitations of schoolwork, I’m pursuing writing head-on, both creative and freelance. Overall, I’m thankful I get to do it in the Pacific Northwest.

Writer Jordan MartinezJordan Martinez recently graduated from Eastern Nazarene College with a BA in Journalism & Writing. Since then she’s returned to her native homeland Oregon to continue her creative writing pursuits, as well as freelance writing for the Rogue Valley Messenger and being the Copy Editor for Southern Oregon Magazine and Las Vegas Golf & Leisure Magazine. At ENC, Jordan was Copy Editor and frequent writer for Veritas News, the school’s newspaper. She also self-published The Great Scheme of Things through amazon.com, has been published in Blood Moon Rising Magazine, and has written well over 60 short stories, along with a few other novels and novellas.