Adieu to the Best Newspaper Staff I’ve Ever Been a Part Of

The Managing Editor of the Courier from September 2022 to May 2023 says farewell to the staff and audience she has grown to love.


Photo of Sarah Kueking taken by Adam Sana.

Sarah Kueking, Managing Editor

I never thought I would work for a newspaper again after my freshman year of high school. Back then, I was put off as soon as the adviser told me that yearning was too sexual of a word to use in my article. 

Besides, in high school, I didn’t understand how editing worked. I didn’t comprehend that I was supposed to edit my articles after getting feedback from the editors, nor did I even have the discipline to meet deadlines.

Now you might realize how surprised I was about not only being hired to write for the Courier, but being employed directly as the Managing Editor.

I knew next to nothing about AP Style, the style journalists write in. I didn’t know anyone currently on staff who might’ve put in a good word for me. But I knew how to write a good story and how to write it well.

That must be what got my foot in the door.

I only wrote two or three articles in high school before quitting the newspaper, so initially, I had no idea what working for the Courier would be like or if I would even enjoy it. However, I ended up loving the job. While writing articles almost every week, I had fun learning about a wide variety of topics, from compassion fatigue to the Betta Olympics and how much Uber drivers get paid

The best part was that I got to pitch my own ideas and write about what I wanted instead of being assigned an idea. I wrote about music, going from praising Luke Bryan, Morgan Wallen and P!NK to giving Thomas Rhett a mediocre concert review because I fell asleep for 45 minutes in the middle of his set. I am most proud of getting to interview Mitch Marczewski for my article about the Nightbirde Foundation, a nonprofit organization inspired by his sister, Jane Marczewski, who went by the stage name Nightbirde before dying of breast cancer in 2022.

The editing part of my position was entirely new to me. The most I had ever edited was my friends’ and my own creative writing projects or essays. Editing every Sunday for several hours, especially in AP Style, took a bit of getting used to. Once I had the AP Style basics down, I realized that I enjoyed helping other people improve their writing.

Realizing that I liked editing was essential for my future career prospects. Before joining the newspaper, I wanted to write creatively as my dream career but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as my day job until my creative projects took off. Once I started writing and editing for the Courier, I added two potential jobs to my arsenal: journalism and editing. Now, at UIC, I am majoring in professional writing as well as creative writing so that I will have more career options.

Although what working for the Courier has done for me professionally is important, the people I have met are just as, if not more, important. Jim Fuller is one of the most dedicated advisers I have ever encountered, whether at COD or any other school I have attended. Thank you, Jim, for teaching me so many valuable lessons about journalism and life. I also want to thank Bee Bishop, our editor-in-chief, for keeping the newspaper and our group running even against the most formidable odds. Finally, thank you to all my other co-workers for keeping a smile on my face and supporting me throughout my time with you at the Courier. All of the writers have improved substantially since I started in September, and I appreciate that you’re taking my feedback into consideration as you continue to write. Whether you are staying with the Courier or not, never stop writing.

For anyone continuing on with the Courier or anyone who plans on joining the team, I would advise: Don’t be afraid to try new styles of writing. I joined the Courier knowing very little about AP Style, and I’m coming out of it with invaluable experience under my belt. At the very least, if you like writing, give the AP writing style a chance.