If you asked me 18 months ago what I thought about journalism, I’d say “God, I can’t run from it fast enough.” After six years in the publishing business, I was through with writing and editing, finished with listicles and puns.
If you asked me two weeks ago what I thought about running Wharton’s newspaper, I’d say “God, I can’t wait to pass it on to the next generation.” After 12 months of running The Wharton Journal with Nick Bartz, I was tired of scrolling through my Facebook feed looking for photos of y’all doing questionable things and crossing my fingers that stories would come in on time.
But if you asked me right now what I think about The Journal, I’d tell you that it was the best (and worst) thing that I’ve done here at Wharton—but mostly the best.
Somewhere in the midst of begging you for ads to keep this rag running and publishing pieces that alternately celebrated and critiqued this institution, I rediscovered my love for storytelling, found an unexpected family, and helped keep this ship afloat one more year. I’m pretty sure it’s a feeling that many 2Ys share as this two-year vacation from the real world comes to a close. The most fulfilling activities and relationships are those that demand a lot and those that we commit to, in turn. Cue nostalgic music now.
I suppose that it’s traditional in these things to do a recap of what was accomplished in the past year. By my estimates:
- Getting a sweet new mobile-optimized website (+1)
- Having Walter at Bonner’s know your name (+100)
- Poets & Quants blogging about our Love Edition (+1)
- Learning to trust that the paper will always get done (+3)
- People still not knowing that we have a print edition (-50)
- Still searching for more writers (-10, we will print anything – really.)
- And needing more ads (-20)
- Poets & Quants blogging about pretty much everything else (-5)
Ehh, essentially it was a wash. And that strangely makes sense. This paper is less about change and trailblazing journalism and more about being a historian, a soapbox, and a celebration of the weird two-year vacation extremely worthwhile educational and professional experience that we got to take part in.
In closing, I’ll admit: I’m not sure that I even knew who Nick Bartz was when we first took over the paper. My impression of Matt McGuire, our inherited Executive Editor, was mainly informed by hearing that he’d probably be in Follies. Dan Ludmir, as I recall, thought that we had a very attractive teacher. Hannah Holdstein, didn’t we meet over an awkward brunch in New York before school?
But what a difference a year makes. Now, fueled by Hannah’s sassy pasta dishes and a steady diet of wings and Miller Lite from Bonner’s, we’ve become The Looks (Nick), The Brains (me), The Muscle (Daniel), and The Wildcard (Matt). Your regular, dysfunctional, loving team. It’s been a blast with y’all.