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A "sophomoric" mistake — made by a sophomore

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  April 4, 2012 05:04 PM

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Everyone makes mistakes, though usually not mistakes that are splashed across national news for strangers and the media to analyze.

In the last few days I have been rightly criticized for publishing a satirical “April Fools” newspaper that mocked sexual assault at a time when Boston University is working hard to expunge the rape culture that pervades our campus. I apologized, I made amends with BU student groups, and I resigned as editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press, the independent student newspaper that I have come to love and respect over the past two years.

Yet still The FreeP, as we lovingly call it, and I were continuously criticized and harassed for our mistake. I acknowledge the decision to print the issue was callous and, as my journalism professor told me, “pretty sophomoric.”

But, guess what? I’m a sophomore.

College is the time to learn and make mistakes before we enter the workforce, and from this horrible situation I’m gaining experience that most student journalists cannot put on a resume. As for my future, it’s in journalism and I will not succumb to those calling for me to give up for a mistake I made as a 19-year-old.

For one second I considered changing my major and retreating into the shadows to hide from the critics demanding I leave journalism forever. But that second passed, and I realized the only critiques anyone should listen to are the inner ones — the ones that declare, “Yes I did something wrong, but I will not hide in a corner.”

I’m lucky and thankful I have incredibly supportive family, friends, and mentors who know I can overcome the odds and learn from this misstep. I know that no matter what goes wrong, The FreeP will always be my home away from home, where my satellite family loves and looks out for each other.

For those afraid to fail, don’t be. Forget the people who try to bring you down and surround yourself with friends who support your decisions and future. It may be hard to set aside pride and admit you’re wrong, but if it’s in defense of something you love, does it really matter?

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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