When you interview for an editor position at The Daily Free Press, there’s this little sign that hangs inside the editor’s office.
“One day, this could all be yours,” it says.
Freshman year me thought that was really cool.
It was something I kept at the back of my mind as FreeP went from being a casual hobby of mine to something that encompassed my entire life — and also totally changed my life.
The office where the dust just refuses to be vacuumed, where the heaters break during snowstorms, where the ceilings leak water faster than we can put out containers to catch it and where the windows somehow get dirtier when you clean them is one of my favorite places in the world.
I love it partly because of the fun stuff — the cardboard cutout of Ron Burgundy and the plastic pigeon and the decorations from years worth of holidays that we refuse to take down — all of the things that make FreeP FreeP.
But I also love it because of the serious stuff — the quotes on the walls from editors I look up to. The newspapers hanging up showing some of our greatest days, our best reporting, our most impactful moments. And the stacks and stacks of newspapers reminding us of how much work we’ve done. How day after day, year after year, The Daily Free Press has written BU’s history.
This semester, when mass shootings turned the national conversation toward gun control, we reported on the gunman that researched BU’s campus, the push for active shooter training that followed and the marches and protests for gun reform that students were at the heart of. When a racist slur was found on a student’s door after the Patriots lost the Superbowl, we wrote the story. And when BU’s tuition continued to rise, we covered students who struggled to keep up, and students who became sugar babies to make ends meet. And that’s not the half of it.
It isn’t always the easiest job in the world. When I first started out, our website had almost entirely stopped working. We wanted to push FreeP’s digital presence further than it had ever been, but we couldn’t even load our homepage. No amount of trouble shooting with customer service or IT or internet forums or anyone else could seem to tell us what was wrong with our website, and it certainly couldn’t tell us how we might fix it.
And let me tell you, the stereotype about COM kids being bad at math is true. And it also applies to computers too. But we were lucky enough to meet a team of computer science majors who were able to build us a new website from the ground up. Now, every time I type in www.dailyfreepress.com and the page loads, a little part of me can’t help but smile.
I guess today is the “one day” that the sign referenced, but “this” — the FreeP — isn’t all mine, not even close. It’s all of the writers’ and all of the photographers’ and all of the associates’ who spend so much time on this paper. And more than anything, it’s the editors’ who I am lucky enough to have shared it all with.
I got lucky to have an editorial board that never stopped pushing boundaries. When I took the BuzzFeed quiz for which member of our e-board I am, I got myself, but in so many of ways, I am all of you. You guys have inspired me so much in your creativity, your talent and your passion. Every night, you make me laugh, make me think, and more than anything, make me proud. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to not spend the better part of my time with all of you.
And I got so lucky to do it all with my managing editor who made all of the work not feel like work at all. Rachel, you are my total opposite in some ways, and the exact same person as me in others. I love you and I like you — and I can’t imagine doing all this with anyone else.
The end of the semester is always bittersweet, but I imagine for me, this one will be so more than most. Ending my time here means a lot will change for me. It’s a weight that I’m relieved to have lifted from my shoulders, it’s an adventure that I’m sad to leave behind me, and it’s the job of a lifetime that I am so excited to pass on to the new editors who are beyond ready to take it all on.
Remember that sign? The one I thought was really cool?
I still think it’s really cool. It’s cool that it got me to where I am today. It’s cool that I got lucky enough to have my dream job. And it’s cool that it might get a few more years of journalists to chase their dreams with this paper, just like I did.