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All Aboard the Learning Express: A Journalism Student's Journey to Understanding Truth

A snowy Oslo street with a morning walker, overlaid with a semi-transparent newspaper headline about the ski festival scandal.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, March 11, 2024, 09:04

As the train hums steadily on the snowy tracks, carrying me from the comfort of my rural nook towards the bustling heart of Oslo, I find myself enveloped in the crisp winter morning. The thermometer barely pushes -1°C, yet through the ice flecked window, the world looks powdered in pure, unblemished white. It's another day, another journey towards knowledge, another opportunity to flex my observation skills.

Just before boarding my morning ride, my eyes skimmed across an article from Nettavisen, discussing the media outcry over the recent Holmenkollen Ski Festival. Apparently, the festival has made headlines not for its sportsmanship, but for the bags of cocaine that were unearthed by the police. Of course, it's disheartening to see such a festive, light-hearted event shadowed by negativity. Yet, as a journalism student, one must remember that the truth, however bitter, cannot be sugarcoated for the sake of public sentiments. Interestingly, I find a parallel between my study methods and this journalistic principle.

I've been asked a myriad of times about my study methods. There's no secret formula, no high-tech gadgetry involved - it's just some hard work, a good deal of attention to detail, and a thirst to learn. You'd be surprised how well old-school highlighting and flashcards work for me! But what brings me the most satisfaction is when I submerge myself fully into my subject, much like a detective immersing themselves into a case to dredge up the truth.

The learning process becomes incomplete if we pick and choose what to learn, simply based on palatability. Just as a journalist's duty is to shed light on every facet of a story, regardless of how grim or pleasant, my preferred study method involves delving deep into each aspect of my subject. I strive to focus on understanding the core principles, instead of merely memorising facts.

Taking the negative aspects in stride, turning them into learning opportunities – that is the method I value. Just like Skjelbreid's request for focusing on the positive aspects of the festival, it is important to strike a balance between the wholesome and the unwholesome truths.

Everything that glitters is not gold, and as a journalism student, my favourite lesson is this: shying away from uncomfortable truths leads to an incomplete and bias narrative. It's the pairing of beautiful snow-covered tracks with the chilling temperatures, the combination of twinkling Oslo city lights with anonymity and crowded loneliness, that makes the story complete. My study methods follow a similar pattern – accepting and understanding the whole spectrum of my subject and turning it all into something that helps me grow.

So, as my train trundles onwards, slicing through the frosty morning air, cocooned in tranquil silence and weighed down by dense thoughts, I feel content. For every chilly morning gives way to a warmer day, much like every difficult lesson evolves into fascinating knowledge. In life, as in studying, the wisdom lies in relishing the journey, no matter the bumps and turns along the way.

Tags: journalism study methods Oslo

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