We all laughed at Kylie Jenner earlier this year when she said in a New Year’s resolutions video that 2016 “is really about, like, the year of just realizing stuff. And everyone around me, we’re all just, like, realizing things.”
Who’s laughing now?
We — the student body of Boston University — have been through a lot these past four months. We truly did “realize” a lot about ourselves, our campus and our country. So, as this fall’s Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Free Press, I thought it would be appropriate to use this letter in our last print publication to reflect on all the things we realized in the latter half of this tumultuous year.
To start broadly, we realized a lot about the world we live in. The major news event of this fall, a divisive campaign leading up to the election of President-elect Donald Trump, shocked a lot of us. Our “bubble,” a liberal university tucked in the middle of a liberal city, was burst. As demonstrated by the rallies and discussions held in the wake of Trump’s victory, a lot of students (including this editorial board) did not get the result they wanted or expected. But think about what that means. Think about what we learned. A large portion of the country (46 percent, to be exact) wanted Trump to be president, and they successfully organized a movement to shift the power. Will it result in the betterment of our country? We’ll have to see. But for now, I’m trying to stay positive. I can at least appreciate the fact that this election forced us out of comfort zone and helped us realize something about parts of the country outside of our BU bubble.
This semester, we realized a lot about the people we go to school with. The election brought out both the best and worst in people, and forced us to have tough conversations with others. Sometimes, we disagreed with people or groups we expected would be on “our side.” At the same time, we were able to find common ground with a lot of people who may have seemed different from us. That’s something to be proud of and thankful for.
Here at the ol’ Free Press, we realized the power of independent student journalism. As reporters and editors with at least some experience in student media, we knew this coming in, but I think I can speak for my Editorial Board when I say that seeing firsthand the impact we could catalyze was an experience that will stick with us long after we leave the dingy Free Press offices. From bringing free online Boston Globe subscriptions to COM, to opening students’ eyes to the reality of financial aid, to live broadcasting a student-hosted political debate, we made our mark on campus this semester. I saw editors who wouldn’t have fancied themselves news hounds at the beginning of the semester transform into dynamic, thoughtful journalists, simply by spending every night in an independent newsroom environment.
Alex, Candice, Katie, Lexi, Maddie, Nick, Paige and Shivani — y’all don’t need a paragraph in my Final Word to know how much I’m grateful for you. Individually, you’ve made me a better, more understanding person. Together, you’ve given me the comfort to leave this fall knowing that the future of student journalism and the FreeP are in good hands. Just don’t take yourselves too seriously.
To Christy, my “right-hand man” (you know I hated making that cliché “Hamilton” reference), what in the world would this semester have been like without your tenacity and spirit? The way you fly around the office, with the enthusiasm of the Boston Ballet Nutcracker bear, has made the office a more fun place to be. I hope you realize how much we all love, respect and appreciate you.
Well, now that I’ve made one cliché “Hamilton” reference, I might as well continue the trend. History has its eyes on us — our generation. Get in formation now or forever hold your peace. Let’s keep “realizing stuff” in 2017, Terriers. It’s only going to make us better people in the long run.