Walking away… A final letter from the editor


Written By Josh Croup, Editor-In-Chief

I’m a huge fan of walking. It’s my main mode of transportation, and it’s my go-to method to escape life. Oh, and it’s free.

I’m also a stubborn and independent person.

I once walked six miles for medicine when I lived in Charleston, W.Va. I was too stubborn to ask for a ride, and it was a nice day. So I walked from my downtown apartment and followed a set of train tracks along the Kanawha River to get to the closest MedExpress in town.

I’ve also walked to and from SouthSide Works five times for various reasons. One trip included sub-zero temperatures.

The most important walk of my life so far happened in September 2015.

I set out for the North Shore after midnight during the middle of the week, later in the month. It’s my favorite getaway location in Pittsburgh.

I don’t usually stop on my walks. I also don’t always have a destination or a plan. I just go.

But this time I stopped halfway through my walk. I sat on the left side of a cold wooden bench near the Mr. Rogers statue for about 45 minutes and thought out loud to myself.

I was asked if I would step up to fill the vacant Globe editor-elect position earlier that week. I didn’t want it at first. I was a few months removed from seriously considering transferring. I didn’t think I had it in me to run a newspaper, especially as a broadcasting major.

I tossed back and forth the idea of running the Globe for days. I didn’t want the job because I didn’t think I could handle everything. I didn’t want the job because I didn’t think I was good enough.

But it was on that bench that I told myself that I could handle the challenge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I was all in from that moment forward.

“Because why not?” I asked myself.

I called my mom the next afternoon, who was in the loop regarding my flip-flopping, and told her I was going to go for it. I was anxiously pacing back and forth in the laundry room on the seventh floor of Conestoga Hall trying to keep my head straight.

At that moment, I felt so ready and so excited. I was also incredibly nervous to step up as editor-elect just three weeks into my sports editing role with a yearlong editor-in-chief position on the horizon.

But boy was I in for a surprise when I found out how little I actually knew and how unprepared I actually was. I mean, I prepared as far as lining up a staff, and I did all of the transition work, but I had no idea how many hours I actually would eventually pour into this paper.

I could go on for days about the hours, the unexpected hurdles, the emails, the pay (my work study students make way more than I do), the literal sleepless nights or the sacrifices I made for the Globe, but I’m not going to.

You don’t care about that. And if you do, let me know, and we’ll grab coffee. I’ll have time to do that now.

Here’s what I will say about this paper: it literally has changed my life. I don’t think I truly know how much of an impact it’s had on me, but I know it’s affected me in ways I won’t fully appreciate until long after I graduate.

It gave me lifelong friends and relationships that I absolutely would not have without accepting the position as editor. I would go to war for any of the people on this staff.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago what I thought were some of my proudest moments with the Globe.

Watching my staff members/fellow students out in the field interviewing, shooting or covering an event brought me more joy and satisfaction than anything else last year. Going to someone’s portfolio website and seeing a Globe story brought joy to my heart. Seeing photos of staff members out covering events together made me smile and still does.

It was the success and the accomplishments of others that inspired me the most and kept me going over the course of the last 12 months. Even just someone simply sharing his or her published story on Facebook made me proud.

This paper also taught me how to deal with situations I never imagined finding myself in, and how to battle through adversity.

We messed up a few times. I messed up a few times. Nobody’s perfect.

I accidentally printed “squirrels” in a quote one week instead of “schools.” Nobody caught that error, surprisingly, and it ran in print. Oops.

I’m so incredibly thankful for the opportunities the Globe gave me and for the doors it has opened up for me.

If anything, the Globe has given me a few life lessons that I will cherish and carry with me forever:

– Don’t hold yourself back and tell yourself you can’t do something.

– Give everything you do your best at all times. You never know who’s watching.

– You never know who you meet in life is going to reappear in the future.

So, with that, I’ll head back to the sports desk and turn over chief duties to Alexander Popichak, who has been a phenomenal No. 2 for the past several months. The Globe is in good hands.

It’s time to walk away. While that warm September night was the best walk I ever set out on, my last walk out of my office when I turn over my keys will be the hardest.

I didn’t want this job, but I’m so thankful that it wanted me.

Because why not?