10 things to know before coming to cherubs

Emma Edmund and  Kayla Guo work on their stories for web week. Photo by Julianna Yablans

Leaving home and living with strangers for five weeks is nerve-racking. To help you prepare, 10 cherubs share advice they wish they had gotten before attending the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute.

1. “Try to manage your money and take notes on what you spent and keep the receipts if you want. You think you’re not spending a lot, but you are in reality. It’s like, ‘Wow, I’ve been spending $300 in two days, look at me.’” Sarah Fernandez of Henderson, Nevada

2. “Bring multiple sheets. I am surviving on one set of sheets, and I am too lazy to do that much laundry. It’s kind of disgusting.” Eli Karp of Briarcliff Manor, New York

3. “It’s important to be prepared to communicate with people you don’t know. Get comfortable talking to random people on the street, get comfortable calling people up and asking them questions and talking to them. Once you break that barrier, it makes your writing a lot easier for the rest of the program.” Celine Macura of Great Neck, New York

4. “Don’t be afraid to not know what you’re doing. Everyone is happy to teach you, so don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong.” Haley Fuller of New Canaan, Connecticut

5. “Make sure you spend your free time wisely. I had a really good time, but I wish I spent more time outside. The days that I did do that, I felt more refreshed and more energized to go back to class, and the beach is really nice.”Sabrina Martin of Bethesda, Maryland

6. “I wish I knew that this wasn’t just journalism camp. There’s a lot more here than writing articles and lectures. You meet people that you connect well with and who become a big part of your life and you find great mentors and learn so much more beyond just reporting.” Nina Price of Berkeley, California

7. “Have an open mind, be willing to take criticism and don’t go into any story thinking you have it all figured out, because you don’t.” Joe Weinberg of Dallas

8. “Come for 100 percent of the experience. Don’t come just for the academic aspects or just the social aspects. Both are equally important. The people are who you’ll learn from, not necessarily just the PowerPoints. There’s so much to learn about the world at cherubs, not just journalism.” Rachel Barber of Roseville, California

9. “Don’t be afraid of other people because they are in the same position as you are. I felt like I was entering a school where everyone kind of knew each other because I was coming from Korea. Even though you’re from a different country, everyone is still starting fresh.” Daniel Hahm of Seoul, South Korea

10. “I wish I brought a computer because it’s practically essential if you don’t want to live in Fisk for most of cherubs. It’s hard when you have an assignment and you want to work in a common area with your friends, but you can’t because you’re tied to Fisk laptops.” Anne Pritikin of Mill Valley, California