The Troubadour belongs to all of us

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When I was approached my sophomore year with the prospect of becoming the school newspaper’s new editor, images of Rory from Gilmore Girls running around a newsroom, working to a deadline, and delegating responsibilities left and right danced around my head.

I quickly learned that this would not be the case for me.

I became the Editor in Chief of the Troubadour in the fall semester of 2017. I was just starting my junior year. My staff was a group of maybe five students who were required to write for one of their classes. This didn’t exactly inspire the deep rooted passion I was looking for in a staff. But, I didn’t have any other options. I had to do what I could with what I had.

My editorship became less about being in charge and having a large staff. It was more about breathing life into something I felt was dead, something that was an integral part to this University, in my opinion. So I worked to put the Troubadour on the map.

The Troubadour became an extension of me. I often referred to it as my child, and I nurtured it as though it was. I held meetings. I sent out emails. I encouraged people to look at the Troubadour. I created social media content.

Involvement did improve. My staff did grow. I met talented people, more talented than I, who produced wonderful articles. I watched their talent grow even more, surpassing me by insurmountable measures, much to my chagrin and delight. I looked around and realized that I wasn’t alone anymore. The Troubadour was no longer just Anna Baughman. It belonged to all of us.

By my senior year, I felt myself outgrowing everything. My college years, it seemed, were becoming days of the past. I felt myself looking forward to the future.

The one thing I did not feel like I was outgrowing was the Troubadour. As my desire to be doing work in the real world grew, I threw myself into the Troubadour, making it my full-time job. I began writing articles, first as a requirement and then because I loved it. The Troubadour breathed life into me, the way I hope I breathed life into it.

I’d be nowhere without the Communications Department. Thank you to Dr. Kelly Rhodes, who initially recommended me for a role that became so vital to my identity; to Mr. Brent Ottaway, my first newspaper advisor, whose encouragement, faith and sarcastic nature kept me going when I so often felt lost; and to Dr. Pat Farabaugh, who taught me, in and out of the classroom, everything I know about writing, layout and journalism.

Did I do a perfect job? No. Are there things I would have done differently? Absolutely. But I did everything I could, and I did it all with the utmost love.

I’ve edited hard articles. I’ve written hard stories. I’ve done hard layout.

But through it all, I never knew the hardest thing for me to do would be saying goodbye.

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