Letter from the Editor: Injuries, inquiries and my penultimate print

Veronica Novotny

Hello, dear readers! By the time I graduate next month, I will have been an editor — either assistant or chief — for the last 27 prints (seven times three is obviously perfection, if I do say so myself).

Being a journalist has taken a lot of work, to be sure, but it has also been incredibly rewarding. I’ve been to huge events like the Jordan Peterson talk and tiny events like a chorale’s breathtaking performance with just half a dozen in the audience and interviewed both VPs and freshmen. I’ve spent countless hours in the lightless corner of the student offices bothering my editors.

In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t done very much recently because of an injury that left me at home for a while. It’s hard to succeed in college if you can’t make it to campus!

This time has given me an opportunity to take an inventory of everything I’m involved in and contacting everyone to cancel meetings. I’ve had to evaluate what I’m putting my time into when I don’t have much stamina and send more emails than I’ve ever sent in college to ask professors to conduct interviews and meetings virtually.

It’s also given me a whole week to reflect on my four years here, so here’s my review of Franciscan.

Classes: 8/10. My theology major, Latin minor and completion of the honors program are obviously my favorite highlights of my collegiate career. I chose a plain ol’ theology degree so I could take as many electives as possible, and boy am I glad I did. Theatre, English and poetry are just a few of the entry-level classes I tried out over my four years here, and, while some of them were more interesting than others, I wouldn’t trade it for any other education.

Extracurriculars: 11/10. There’s so much to get involved in here and dozens of leadership opportunities once you take the plunge. A special shoutout goes to the chapel office and my Troub staff for making work feel like fun.

Household Life: 10/10. I love my household and would give up anything to dedicate all my time to my sisters if they called for it. It can be hard to find your place — I didn’t intent until my sophomore spring, and I’ve even seen friends switch households — but once you do, it’s so worth it.

Finding friends on campus: 10/10. Austria, household and — of course — Troubadour staff were just several of many opportunities where I made friends that I hope will last for decades.

Administration: 6/10. I know they do their best for the university, but sometimes it can be hard to get responses or explanations on sensitive or controversial issues that don’t sound like a polished PR piece. I wish the students got more explanation for the decisions that directly affect their lives.

Residence Life: 9/10. The RAs are there for you when you need them to be, but they don’t stick their noses in your life if you already have a support system. Plus, my sister’s an RA, so I have to say nice things.

Food: 7/10. Hot take: the caf gets more complaints than it deserves. I live for the fresh French fries, hard ice cream and organic Tractor pop.

If I compared Franciscan to other colleges in the country, it’s immediately an 11/10. Despite everything I’ve seen and heard, I would still choose Franciscan over other colleges in a heartbeat, even if Catholic University of America does have a Chick-fil-A in the main food court.

Overall: 8/10. Would come again. In fact, I will come again: in June, for my first semester of full-time graduate school.

I know it’s nothing stellar for my last editorial, but I wanted to take this last opportunity to publicly thank the university for everything the last four years of undergraduate gave me: friends, household, spiritual formation, professional experience, a solid education — and for that, I especially thank you, the theology department, the honors program and Dr. Harwood.

Besides, I’m a 4+1 student, so you aren’t getting rid of me so fast, Franciscan. I’ll be around.