I don’t know if I’ll able to accept the fact that this is the last article I will ever write for The Daily Campus. But after four years of tennis recaps, news stories, men’s basketball previews and columns delivering the hottest opinions that nobody asked for, that’s just the way it’s going to be whether I accept it or not.
My tenure as a Daily Campus staffer has all but come to a close. And though I don’t know if I can possibly thank everyone that deserves appreciation for all that’s been done for me over the past four years in just one column, I’ve got one more Page 11 appearance in me to give it a try. So here it goes.
To start, as should always be at the start, thank you Mom and Dad. Undying love and support doesn’t come easy, but you guys have always been able to make it seem that way. None of what I’ve accomplished at UConn or elsewhere would have been possible without you guys, and I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to repay you for all that you’ve done for me. You’re the best. I’m sorry for not calling more.
(Side note to any readers: Call your parents. They miss you.)
Thank you to the University of Connecticut. I can’t remember a second during my time here at UConn that I wasn’t unbelievably proud to be a Husky. Sure, there may have been a few demands (like don’t change the logo, get a football stadium on campus, get into an actual conference, get Wendy’s back in the Union, etc.) that you weren’t able to meet, but I can’t imagine my four years being spent anywhere else. I’m going to miss this cow town more than I ever thought.
Thank you to all of my friends and roommates, both old and new, that helped to shape my college experience. If it hadn’t been for everyone from the third floor of McMahon freshman year to the 15 fools I now live with at The Outback (and everyone in between), these last four years would have been insurmountably different. Out of fear of leaving anyone out, I won’t list anyone specifically here. But to simply anyone who over these past four years I have been able to call “friend,” I thank you.
Thank you to everyone at The Daily Campus, both presently and throughout my four years, that simply gave me the opportunity to work and write for such an awesome organization. Coming in to UConn, I knew there was only one thing I absolutely wanted to do: write. And The Daily Campus gave me every opportunity and bit of encouragement along the way to make my first-ever collegiate mission a reality. I don’t know yet where my post-graduate years will take me, but I know I’m forever in debt to this newspaper for giving me my first chance.
Thank you Mel Deziel, Mac Cerullo, Brian Zahn, Liz Crowley and all of the incomparable leaders that I’ve seen walk through the doors at 1226 Storrs Road that have helped shaped me as a professional. You all put your trust in me to take chances, be creative and make my own decisions. I don’t know if I will ever have better bosses than you.
Thank you to the McDonough’s and the rest of the Daily Campus sports staff from my freshman year for showing me just how fun covering sports can be. You guys were, and still are, all-stars. And thank you Matt Zampini, Tim Fontenault and this year’s team for showing me that the sports section family doesn’t fall apart just because a few members leave for graduation. There’s a reason we’ve won best section as often as we have.
Lastly, and most importantly, thank you to everyone who ever took a few minutes out of your day to read what I had to say. There was no bigger thrill than sitting in a dining hall or behind someone in class and seeing something I wrote catch someone’s attention, if even for a second. And even more importantly, I can’t thank you all enough for your feedback. There was no bigger reality check than seeing a negative comment left on one of my articles, and yet there was no bigger boost to my pride than having someone tell me they liked what I wrote. I remember every piece of praise and criticism I got along the way, and I’m equally grateful for every little bit.
I never felt apprehensive or uncomfortable sharing what I had on my mind through The Daily Campus, but I always tried my best to keep in check how I sounded through my writing. I wanted to sound confident in my opinions but never stubborn in my beliefs. I wanted to sound knowledgeable in the subject matter but never pompous in the sense that I thought I knew more than anyone else, because I often didn’t. All I ever wanted was to make people think about something in a different way, or start a discussion that might not have otherwise happened. More selfishly, all I ever really wanted was to have fun with my writing. And sharing my opinions with anyone interested in listening gave me some of my most fun memories of my entire college experience.
I’ve had so much fun at UConn and with The Daily Campus over these past four years. And if there is any parting piece of advice I can give to my readers, whether you’re a fellow depressed senior or a young gun with years left of college still ahead, it’s to have fun with whatever you do.
Don’t be scared to try something that makes you uncomfortable, because nothing worth doing in college is ever easy. Don’t be afraid to invest yourself in anything 100 percent, because in the end that’s the only way you can get as much out of something as you can. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to open yourself up to others, share your passions or be honest about what really excites you. Because when you start feeling comfortable enough to share what you believe in with others, that’s when the fun in anything really starts.
Live every day like it’s the most fun day of your life, because any given day – especially in college – has the potential to be just that.
Just make sure that at the end of that day, you give your parents a call. They’ll want to hear all about how much fun you’ve been having.