By: Alyson Peabody, Editor-In-Chief
As much as I love the summer sun, I am happy to be returning to the classroom for my final year at USM.
This fall also marks my anniversary with the Free Press.
In October 2018, I reached out to the former Editor-In-Chief, Julie Pike, to try my hand at journalism. She asked me why I wanted to become a staff writer. For a moment, I panicked. I had no experience and no portfolio. I kept thinking, “I’m an artist and a poet. How could I write a commanding news story?”
My honest answer was that I have always been inspired by Rory Gilmore’s journalistic pursuits in Gilmore Girls.
We hit it off right away.
Julie was the first friend I made at USM. I was a new transfer from MECA and a commuter student without a clue what I was doing. She mentored me as I started writing for the Arts & Culture section, an area that I was comfortable with. Julie encouraged me to step into a leadership role. I became the News Editor in February 2019.
I owe my love of journalism to her, my real-life Rory Gilmore.
As each assignment came and went, I began feeling more and more comfortable. Every article was an opportunity to attend an event on campus, talk to students and faculty and really sink into the extensive community USM has to offer. It was unbelievably scary at first. Approaching strangers to ask them to share their ideas with me and then translating what they say into an article is an uncomfortable task.
As you can imagine, not everyone is happy with what you write. Not everyone wants to talk with you when you say you are a journalist.
That is okay.
Working for the Free Press has taught me how to communicate outside of my comfort zone. I found a team of people with similar goals for success. Our newspaper is powered by passionate students honing their skills in graphic design, photography, editing, writing, sales and copyediting.
As a collective, we all want to articulate our thoughts clearly. We all want to uphold the newspaper’s reputation. We all want to say something that someone else wants to listen to, even if they don’t agree.
Welcome to all new and returning students. Let’s have a marvelous year together.