3 Takeaways From a Recent Newhouse Alum

As a recent graduate, I allocated some time this summer to reflect on my experience — highs and lows included — of earning my master’s degree from the Newhouse School. Here are three tips I brainstormed for those about to begin fall semester, based upon my time as a Goldring arts journalism and communications student juggling academics, freelance work, an internship and more.  

natalie Rieth headshot
Natalie Rieth

Bootcamp is challenging…but the school year gets harder 

My bootcamp experience was a whirlwind — it flew by fast, yet some weeks were so overwhelming that it felt like summer session was never-ending. As someone who started the program with a journalism degree, much of the summer felt like a recap with added challenges that tested prior knowledge and allowed me to expand my journalistic skill set. However, I do recall pondering how future classes could get worse than the stress I had to manage during the frantic summer semester.  

Now, I don’t intend to frighten, but fall semester does present new challenges. In my experience, classes were far less overwhelming, but the academic stress I experienced over the summer was quickly replaced by my involvement outside the classroom with extracurricular projects, freelance gigs and jobs. You may find yourself doing more work and having less “me time” than you had in summer months. The school year won’t be easy, but it can be favorably tackled with whatever skills allow you to manage your busy schedule with conviction. Organization is a key element to success here at Newhouse.  

Take breaks and prioritize your social life 

My fall semester schedule looked something like this: wake up, go to class, homework, sleep and repeat. At first, I accepted that this was my reality. I committed to Newhouse to learn and grow as a media professional. And, I mean, that’s what graduate school is all about, right?  

I was excelling academically, but felt socially deprived and lonely.  

When spring semester began, I knew I needed to start implementing study breaks within my academic and work life. And small changes led to huge shifts in my mental health and overall happiness. Whether it be indulging in a movie night or going out for a quick coffee with friends, it’s important to take advantage of the friendships you are able to kindle during your time in Syracuse. You’re only a Newhouse student for a year, after all!  

Tackle every opportunity that comes your way (within reason)  

As a Newhouse student, you’ll have a plethora of resources within reach from the moment you start your academic journey. Seek out opportunities that suit your goals, but remember to be flexible and open to those that are unfamiliar to you. Before starting fall semester I got in contact with several former Goldring students with similar interests to see what opportunities they felt were worthwhile. I then formed a list of goals I hoped to accomplish; jobs and opportunities I wished to pursue; publications I aimed to write for; and more. The academic year moves rapidly, so tackling fall semester with a plan in mind will be advantageous. 

Natalie Rieth is a graduate of the Goldring arts journalism and communications master’s program at the Newhouse School.