Monday, May 29th, 2017

Letter from the Editor: The time has come to say goodbye

Krysteana Scribner | The Free Press

Posted on May 04, 2017 in Perspectives
By Krysteana Scribner

Krysteana Scribner | The Free Press
Krysteana Scribner | The Free Press

Three years have passed since I chose to walk into the offices of the Free Press. It’s funny how time disappears, slowly, and it was in between moments during my time at the student paper that I wondered how my own time here would come to an end. It doesn’t seem real, and it doesn’t quite feel right to be leaving.

I remember being deemed the editor-in-chief for the fiscal year of 2016. I was ecstatic, young and uncertain about what the position would do for me here at USM. I had never been an outgoing individual or had much recognition in the community prior to my time here. We sat around the Free Press table, me and the Student Communications Board staff, and our Business Manager Lucille brought me a party hat, which sported a sticker that said EIC. She placed it on my head, and everyone laughed and congratulated me. I still have that hat, two years later, and it serves as a reminder of all I’ve experienced during my time at the Free Press.

I’ll never forget the three separate groups of people I worked with during my time at the Free Press. First, I worked with students older than me, who offered me guidance and mentoring in times when I needed it the most. This is the place I met some great people that I still have in my life today: Francis, Sam, Sokvonnyand I’ll never forget the first group of editors I mentored myself: Dora, Zach, Adam, Nick. They’ve all left, moved on to different dreams both within and without USM, but I learned a lot about myself through our interactions.

I learned to be more patient, to be more open-minded, and to keep a middle ground perspective on everything. I witnessed their trials and tribulations, witnessed their determination and drive to be the best they could be. Their quirky personalities still resonate with me, even though they are only in my memory now. They weren’t afraid to stand up to me when I needed correcting, and I believe I learned more from them than I could have ever taught them.

When this year began, I was faced yet again with building an entirely new team; from the bottom up, I searched for people willing to work at the student paper, to work in the field of journalism with a fearless bravery I had once seen in Zach, in Dora, in Nick. In the beginning, I felt distant toward my new staff, as if I’d lost my family and was required to start a new one with them. It was an epiphany for me, however, as I had only understood the Free Press through my focused lens of friends, but these new staff members were different.

This time, I was the outsider to a family building outside of my presence. I was the “mother hen,” as Bradford often says, and witnessed friendships blossom from even the strangest places of the university. The people here, we wouldn’t find one another elsewhere on campus; we’re too different, quirky and unique. I like to think that we are all lost souls, in some way or another, simply looking for our niche in life. We all find it, sooner or later, nestled under the acceptance we have all felt, at one time or another, we didn’t deserve. I’m sometimes unsure of what I did to deserve this position, but I hope I’ve made an impact that won’t be forgotten, and I hope the same for the Free Press in the future.

Johnna, Orkhan, Dionne, Matthew, Cara, Mary Ellen, Erin, Sarah, Julie, Bradford… thank you for giving me the privilege to work with you these past two semesters. Thank you for challenging my values and beliefs, and allowing me to challenge yours. Thank you for putting up with the chaos of assignments, for being willing to work on projects often too complicated for your already overwhelming work and class schedules. Thank you Lucille for the mothering guidance and support, for bringing me tea and chatting with me. I will truly miss your beautiful soul in my daily life.

We have all felt the overwhelming burden of molding ourselves into adulthood, unsure of whether or not we can let go of the childhood tendencies in our heart, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to.

Keep being creative, never stop trying to make a difference, always push for what you believe in. We all want to create positive change, even if it is only a small ripple in the pool of successes achieved by the human race. The paper is our shared product, our shared desire, our common link in this world of chaos. Don’t stop chasing the hard-to-reach stories, don’t stop pissing off administration and exposing the truthand never, ever be anyone but who you want to be.

Mary Ellen, never stop walking barefoot to feel the earth beneath your feet. Cara, never hide your incredibly memorable laugh from others. Johnna, never let anyone silence your beliefs and perspectives on the rights of the people. Matthew, never let anyone question your excellent wardrobe choices. Bradford, don’t ever stop making people laughand Sarah, oh Sarah, never stop being so friendly, be prepared to learn more about yourself from the people you surround yourself with than ever before. It’s beautiful, it’s melancholic, it’s maddening.

In the words of a letter I wrote several years back, I stay true to the statement that the Free Press is an independent being. She brings in a fresh crop of writers, photographers, dreamers and go-getters each year.

“Your team will stay strong. Some will move on and others will take new positions, but they can never lose their place there. That’s the beauty of the Free Press. The characters are constantly changing, as they do in life, but the memories are seen in the history, in the stacks of newspapers huddled in corners, in the left-behind stories stuffed into desktops. Never underestimate the power of your voice, and the voices of those who have long since moved on but never let the memories of the Free Press move from their hearts.”