Our View: David Carr’s advice for all students, not just journalists


by The Simpsonian Editorial Board

If you were on social media last week, you might’ve seen the trending hashtag #AdviceforYoungJournalists. A lot of them were applicable not only to journalism majors, but to any college major.

The main takeaway: follow your dreams and work hard to get where you want to be.

David Carr, a reporter for The New York Times, passed away last week. His advice for journalism students, published posthumously, cited his syllabus for his course.

“Evaluations will be based not just on your efforts, but on your ability to bring excellence out of the people around you,” he wrote.

Carr was a journalist and mentor who encouraged people to thrive off their life experiences. He wanted people to be original. Because of his accomplishments as a reporter, young reporters looked up to Carr. But Carr never made things about himself – it’s what drew journalists like us to his advice.

But his advice isn’t only for those who hope to one day be as talented as him. It’s great for all of us who are so young, trying to figure out what comes next. Here at Simpson College, we shouldn’t worry too much about what others think of us, or how impressive our resumes need to be. As students of a college where it’s common to do a lot, we tend to seek opportunities to pad our resumes. We also get wrapped up in this world of academia.

Those are all important aspects to remember as we grow, but we must also find what works for each one of us and fulfils our wishes.