For the past three and a half years at The Villanovan, I’ve lived my life in fear of being found out. You see, I am no journalist. I may wear the hat and may be able to dabble in it from time to time, but compared to some of those who I have met here, I am a fraud. To rank me and my modest journalistic abilities on the same level as them would be doing a disservice to them. They have the real stuff.
Lucky for me, I was fortunate enough to be co editor-in-chief along side them. Now, as my term ends and I prepare to step down, I look on like a proud parent, taking a humble pride in the fact that perhaps, in some small way, their success is a result of (and not in spite of) my actions.
If I am to be credited with doing more with this paper than my predecessors, it is only because I was standing on the shoulders of giants who refused to accept the way things were done or to settle for mediocrity.
My charade is over, and for that I am happy.
I am saddened to leave, however. This opportunity has exposed me to some really amazing people, chief among them my co editor-in-chief, Courtney Scrib. I would never have met her if I didn’t get involved with this. I would not be here without her, in more ways than one, and if she is the only thing I get out of this paper, I’m playing with house money already.
That being said, I am looking forward to a few things:
Not getting wake-up calls from the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday mornings. As much as I love Rich Sims and all the other guys at the plant, their voices are not exactly what I’d like to hear as I put my head down to go to sleep after spending 16 hours in the newspaper office. Going to bed on Tuesday night is a lot easier knowing that, at the very least, I’ll be able to sleep until my morning class.
No more criticism. Much of this job, as the outgoing editor-in-chief told me, is putting out fires. Week after week you are bombarded with e-mails from writers angry about the way their stories were edited, alum dissatisfied with content or members of the administration who have concerns about the paper. It’s just business, and I know I can’t take it personally, but I’m certainly looking forward to spending some time outside of the ring.
My roommates and friends. Having spent this past semester wearing the duel hats of EIC of The Villanovan and deputy press secretary for a congressional campaign, I haven’t really seen too much of them. I’m basically that shadowy figure who they hear taking a shower and muttering expletives at unholy hours of the night/morning.
Picking up a paper Thursday morning and having no idea what is going to be in it. You students don’t realize how lucky you are. For three years, I’ve known exactly what is going to be in every issue of The Villanovan. As co editor-in-chief, I sweated out every issue, hoping that the hard work of our staff would not be wasted effort due to a printing or computer error. The opportunity to go back to being a reader is one I wholeheartedly welcome.
There will, however, be some things I am going to miss. I will miss being a journalist, even if I was only pretending. I will miss being a part of something greater than myself. I will miss those rare occasions when I publish a story that has a profound impact on someone’s life and realize I made a difference.
I’ll miss watching the sun rise over the campus and the eerie silence that blankets Villanova when we leave the office at 4 a.m. and everyone except us and facilities is asleep. I’ll miss the basketball previews which allowed me to feel a part of the success of the team in a small way.
And, most importantly, I’ll miss the people. When you work what is essentially a 40-hour-a week job for no pay or benefits, there are a few things that keep you coming up to that poorly lit, poorly ventilated room in Dougherty Hall.
For me, it was the team and the people on it who made it worth while. You’ve all meant something to me over the course of this past year and a half, and to try and sum that up in one paragraph, or even one article, is a disservice to all of us.
If I was unfair to you at any point this semester, please know that it was usually the two hours of sleep talking and not me.
In many ways, this is a thankless job, and for that, I don’t envy the incoming editorial board, although I think they are more than capable of handling it. You will be labeled too liberal, too conservative or too neutral.
You will be criticized for the things you do wrong more than you will be thanked or praised for the things you do correctly, and you will question over and over again whether it is worth it. Having three years under my belt, I can honestly say that it is, every minute.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there were some guys I knew freshman year that I used to hang out with. Hopefully they saved me a seat and a beer.