Failing Forward: Saying Cheers to The Paladin

By: Carter Hunt, Editor-in-Chief

In spring of 2015 I received my first feedback as an editor for The Paladin. It was a photo of an article I had written that had about a dozen mistakes that I had made circled with the comment “I don’t think I need to go on a spiel, these egregious errors speak for themselves.” Not the most uplifting critic. I was a Freshman and I squirmed over the mistakes that I’d made.

We’ve all been there at some point after making some mistake. Whether it’s in the classroom or on a playing field, some mistakes can makes us feel like we are alone in an ocean with no one to help us for miles in every direction. We can deceive ourselves, but at some point we have to remember rule #65: “No Man is an Island.”

That’s the beauty of college, more specifically, that’s what has been great about Furman. We have been provided an arena to fail where people will come along-side and help us up.

For me, freshman year, it was Forest Stulting. A dude who, in my opinion, has had as positive an impact on The Paladin as anyone else in the past 5 years. He reminded me that mistakes, just like successes, are a team product, not an individual effort. More importantly, we can learn from them for the sake of improvement.

This is not intended to be a cry against the critical. We need to know when and how we fail. Mistakes can be made but we need feedback at every level. Perhaps Alfred Pennyworth put it best, “Why do we fall Master Wayne? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”

At the end of every semester our professors give us grades and we provide evaluations. As a newspaper, we get to watch what is going on around campus and comment on it, so we can bring issues to the surface. We were able to do that in the fall when SGA made some budget adjustments that affected everyone on campus. But we also get to celebrate some of the best of Furman which comes out after we progress from failures.

As a newspaper it is our job to be critical of organizations such as SGA because they carry power on campus. But we also get to applaud Jessica Norum and Tucker Erdmann who work as hard as anyone else on campus, helping make Furman an incredible student experience. We get to write stories in awe of P.J. Blazejowski and the Furman football team who led the most thrilling season of Furman football since seniors set foot on campus in 2014. We get to be critical of Furman but we also get to celebrate it.

This is it for my time with The Paladin, and this is about it for my time at Furman. But next year, when the more capable Lane Fahey is calling the shots here at The Paladin, be critical of our paper and we will remain critical of our university. We will all always make some mistakes, but we will fail forward.  


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