EDITOR’S NOTE: Look Before You Leap

Kristina Esdale

More stories from Kristina Esdale

Jason Wood

More stories from Jason Wood

Hey Man, Screw It
May 11, 2018

The title of Editor-in-Chief is one that holds a lot of opportunities for success, but equally as many opportunities for failure. While it may seem as if being the boss only earns you privileges, more often than not, it only earns us criticism. When you’re expected to be the best of the best, failure is not an option. Proving yourself at all times is a necessity; one slip up could make you lose the respect of your staff. One mistake in a magazine immediately falls back on you, but when credit is due, you’re not always the one that receives it. No one ever said the job was easy, but sometimes the leap is worth it.

Kristina Esdale

Being offered the position of Editor-in-Chief was one of the most honorable moments in my life. Taking on the role of not only an editor, but also a leader, was quite terrifying. I’d never been one to take the lead on anything, but I was willing to leap into the year with high hopes and open arms. This year has been full of ups and downs; it definitely hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I came to find that journalism in itself was something that I’d fallen in love with; I couldn’t imagine continuing on in my future without a story to edit or a deadline to meet. When it came time for the second-to-last magazine, I knew that I would have to step away and let Jason take the lead, which was extremely hard for me. It made me realize that my love for words was never ending; I always have something to say. Although I might not have contributed to many of the words in the “L” magazine, it gave me the opportunity to pass the torch and become a mentor. It showed me a different side of journalism away from just the writing and the editing. It showed me how to spread my passion for it.

Jason Wood

Taking on my first magazine with the duties of Editor-in-Chief has been absolutely terrifying, but I knew I wanted to set the tone for what’s set to come next year. In this magazine, you may be taken aback by some of the unorthodox feature images; however, the content of the stories is equally as important. The features in this magazine are a collection of alternative images. Some are made up of copyright free images, others are completely computer illustrated and a few are a combination of the two. The topics range from art scholarship written by staff member Emily Hanes in “Luck of the Draw,” to a story of entrepreneurship in “Lightning Never Strikes in the Same Place Twice,” written by staff member Griffin Hackeloer; And then we tell stories about masking your true self  in “Lipstick on a Pig” by staff member Monica Wilhelm or leaving it all out on the table in order to shed a few pounds as written by staff member Lauren Bluthardt in “Last Ditch Effort.” In addition, we decided to give the ol’ Tom Tom try at something new: lacrosse. On a more critical note, look at our staff ed to see our thoughts on the usefulness of the Cum Laude program.

This year I had the opportunity to see how Kristina led her staff, and I couldn’t have asked for a better role model to have helping me with the transition. As my third year on staff approaches, I find it more and more intriguing to watch the team grow as new talent arrives and fills positions left by previous members. While Kristina found her passion for journalism in this class, I think I’ve started to find my passion for people and the staff dynamic that the Tom Tom brings. 


When I first met you at the end of my junior year, I knew instantly that you would be the one to follow in my footsteps. Not only because you’re qualified, but also because you remind me so much of myself. Don’t be afraid to take the leap; if you second guess yourself too often, you won’t take enough time to appreciate the honor of being the Editor-in-Chief of such an amazing program. Be confident, be empowered, but also be humble. I’ve always taken so much pride in being a big part of the Tom Tom, as it has become a big part of who I am. Now that it’s your turn, I can’t wait to sit back, relax and watch your creativity unfold. I’m so excited to see what next year has in store for you. No matter what it may be, I know you can make it great. Don’t doubt yourself (because you’re the only one who ever actually does).

Love you bestie!