Columns, Opinion

FINAL WORD: A letter from the editor


At this very moment in time, I would argue, student journalists are caught in one of the most difficult situations of any type of student. We are asked to keep up with modern trends, and criticized by the traditionalists when we strive too far outside the box. We are asked to hold ourselves to the highest possible standards, and get scoffed at and feel defeated when we can’t do absolutely everything. We must put sufficient effort into our classes and work ridiculous hours on extracurricular publications to have a shot at any sort of future.

In doing all of this, we often sacrifice our sanity and health. I’m sitting here writing this clutching a cup of Emergen-C and wrapped up in my leopard-print Snuggie. I owe every bit of my minimal health this semester to Airborne and Clorox wipes.

It is pertinent we have a place to achieve balance, though. With so many conflicting ideas being thrown at us, and so much pressure being placed upon all of us, we need some place to feel validation, a place to settle at least some of our uncertainty. For me, that place has been The Daily Free Press.

Sure, you can never fully accomplish sanity. I have texted many people at many points this semester that I’m pretty sure relaxation is a myth. And — if the number of times Dunkin’ Donuts is listed on my credit card statement each month isn’t enough of an indication — sleep is almost entirely a myth as well. But to maintain at least a semblance of stability, it helps to have a community that, no matter what, will always have your back.

Countless people mentored me through my transition from uneasy freshman writer to exiting Editor-in-Chief, perhaps the most notable being my first editor, Fall 2012 Sports Editor Kevin Dillon. Kevin, for me, defined the FreeP ideology — patient, kind and encouraging while holding himself and his colleagues to the highest standards of excellence.

Most importantly, the sports section placed extreme emphasis on creating a strong support system. When I started writing about cross country, and was absolutely terrified out of my mind, Kevin reassured me that BU cross country coach Bruce Lehane was one of the nicest humans on the planet. He was right.

I can say with full confidence the support of my sports section is what kept me around so long. I can go down the list of everyone who has worked within the sports section over the past two years and give multiple ways each person has taught me something in some way.

This semester, as Editor-in-Chief, I wanted to help lead the charge on creating an environment that reflected the culture sports family had instilled in me. And what a phenomenal culture it ended up being. I have had the opportunity to work with the most supportive managing editor I could want; a campus editor whose laughter and energy brought light to the newsroom; a city editor who worked with passion and her nose always to the grindstone; a patient, creative photo editor who made some of the most gorgeous graphics I’ve ever seen; a hilarious opinion editor who encouraged incredible discussion; an eager, hardworking and sweet sports editor; a forward-thinking, strong features editor; and a cheerful, diligent, reliable multimedia editor.

And that isn’t including the gems of associate editors, writers, photographers and videographers who worked hard each day to ensure a paper came out each night. They rarely, if ever, gave an excuse with an “I.” It was always a case of “we” — what we could do together to create the most beautiful newspaper possible four nights a week. I could not be any prouder.

For the past two years, I have had the extreme pleasure, on a daily basis, of collaborating with and learning from the best journalists at Boston University — some of the best in the Northeast, for that matter. As a young woman who started out just wanting to write about cross country and maybe a couple other sports, I couldn’t have been any luckier.

xoxo —

Sarah Kirkpatrick

Spring 2014 Editor-in-Chief

One Comment

  1. Congratulations on making it through! The Freep is a labor of love that has consumed many nights of BU students for a couple generations now. Good work making sure the BU community is kept informed, young journalists still have a place to train and the presses are still running.

    Kirk Enstrom
    Managing Editor, ’94-’95