I have to admit that I’m a journalism nerd. I love news and talking about the media with other nerds. One of the great ways to get involved with other people that are excited about journalism is by joining a student organization. During my sophomore year I joined the IU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The group sponsors events throughout the year, some geared toward students, some geared toward meeting professionals.
One event that we started a couple years ago was the First Amendment Free Food Festival. We set up an area on campus and offered free food to any one who wanted it. The trick was that they had to give up their First Amendment rights to get the food. It was a fun, interactive way to teach people how important these rights are on an every day basis.
The regional conferences every year were also great opportunities to network with fellow journalists. The speakers were always interesting, there was usually a chance to get your portfolio critiqued from professionals, and our chapter funded most of those trips.
Other organizations are the same way. There’s groups focused on black journalists, human rights, public relations, and designers. All of these are the perfect way to meet other people that are just as psyched as you are about being a journalist.