Managing editor reflects on 3 and a half years

This fall has been my seventh and last semester at the Northern Star, and it’s nothing like I expected it to be. 

This semester has drained me. It’s true that the Northern Star has been the biggest source of stress this year. It’s also true that I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My time at the Northern Star showed me that a lot can be achieved with hard work.

I walked into the newsroom my first semester on campus in 2018, not knowing anything about journalism in hopes of becoming an entertainment writer. Though I was placed in the news section, and it turned out for the better. 

I spent my first two years at the Star as a news reporter, covering stories I never imagined – from a student government president embezzling student fees to how COVID-19 impacted us as students. 

I was comfortable as a reporter and never saw myself becoming an editor. But, the Northern Star pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I became news editor in 2020 and managing editor this past semester. Many times throughout the past year, I have doubted my ability as an editor and leader, but I don’t regret taking on the role. I love helping new reporters learn how to find their voice within their stories. 

It’s the people here at the Northern Star who make us better. 

To my very first news editor, Jessie Kern, thank you for hiring me in my first semester at NIU in 2018. Without you, I wouldn’t even know how to write a proper news story. To Sam Malone, thank you for showing me how to be a great leader and editor during your time as editor-in-chief.

To our adviser, Shelley Hendricks, thank you for the endless journalism advice. I remember nervously sitting in your office my first year at the Star and watching you edit and pick apart my published stories, only for me to become a better reporter. And to Maria Krull, thank you for being the Star’s No. 1 supporter. 

To the staffers who I have enjoyed working with and learning something new every day from reading your stories, I know you’ll continue to do great things at the Star. 

Thank you to all the section editors: Yari Tapia, James Krause, Jacob Baker, Brionna Belcher, Zak Ahmed and Abigail Lamoreaux. You all inspired me to do better every day, and I’m proud of the work you have accomplished this semester.  

And, of course, thank you to Wes Sanderson. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to do this job with. We started the semester knowing each other only by name – which I had to teach you how to spell – and ended it as best friends. Can someone please keep Wes in check once I’m gone? I can’t wait to see where you take the Star next. 

​​To NIU: Thanks for giving me so many parking tickets. Don’t ever ask me for any money after I graduate!

These last three and a half years have shaped me as a reporter, an editor and a person, and so much of that has been thanks to the Northern Star. I’ll always be grateful for that.