Column: This one's on me
This is my final column for The Daily Campus.
Any good columnist adheres to the rule of not using the words "I" or "me" too frequently in their weekly column. However, this rule can be broken sometimes, and this is one of those times. Each week since my junior year, my goal was to tell you, the reader, a story. Today I would like to share one final story, my own.
My UConn experience was not like most students here in Storrs. I started my college career at UConn's regional campus by the sea, Avery Point. It was an experience I'm glad I had, despite not being on campus in 2011 when Kemba Walker led the Huskies back to glory. For me, that year will be defined by UConn football's upset victory on Halloween weekend over West Virginia, when hoards of students rushed the field in celebration.
It was also at Avery Point where I met one of my best friends, James Moran. Without his guidance and wisdom, I would have never made it through these four years. From political science classes to late night talks and countless Bruins hockey games, you have always been there for me and I am so happy to see your business become the success that it has.
I finally arrived on the Storrs campus for sophomore year, a dream I thought was unattainable just a few years prior when I was barley passing high school chemistry. I wandered over to a small building on Dog Lane surrounded by construction and joined an organization that would change my life forever.
My very first assignment for The Daily Campus was the typical rookie assignment, point-counter-point. I debated with another great writer, Andrew Callahan, on who would win the college football National Championship. From that first article, I was hooked.
That winter I was overjoyed when the sports editor at the time, Matt McDonough allowed me to cover women's hockey and, eventually, men's hockey. If you've read my column before, you know that hockey is, and will always be, a large part of my life.
Later that spring, I was sitting in the front row of the Phillip E. Austin building (it will always be CLAS to me) wearing my Patrice Bergeron jersey when the sweetest voice asked me, "Are they going to win tonight?" Mariah, we've been through a lot since that spring day. When I look back at the time we've spent together, I can't help but smile ear to ear. You've made my final year here at UConn something to cherish. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us, which I am sure will be filled with sunny days. You are my companion, teammate, best friend and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you.
Most of my close friends know how deep my coffee addiction runs, but without it I would have missed out on a lot. I was chatting with then-editor-in-chief Melanie Deziel over a cup of coffee in the Union one day, when she encouraged me to apply for the open associate sports editor position.
The rest was history.
As associate sports editor, I had the privilege of covering UConn football and the chance to cover the women's basketball team in New Orleans when they captured their eighth national championship. I consider myself blessed to have been in the arena when the confetti was falling down and on the court when the nets were eventually cut down.
However, one of my lasting memories of the trip has nothing to do with the actual game. It was standing at center court and chatting about sports and life with longtime Connecticut sports writer, Jeff Jacobs.
To say my time covering UConn athletics were special would be an understatement. Walking along the sidelines of Rentschler Field or Gampel Pavilion and sitting in the press box at J.O. Christian Field or the Freitas Ice Forum are memories I will always cherish.
This past year, I have served as the managing editor of The Daily Campus. I learned that putting out a daily newspaper doesn't just happen. It takes hard work and lots of late nights. But when you work with an amazing staff, suddenly those nights don't seem so long and the hard work doesn't even feel like work at all.
I would be remise if I did not mention the people who supported me during these past four years. Don and Joanne, if it were not for your unwavering support back home, all of this would not have been possible. Thank you. To old friends, Harry, Gary and Lucas, thank you for sticking by my side for these past four years and then some. An old saying I firmly believe in is that man's worth is not measured by the change in his pocket, but by the friends by his side. I consider myself very wealthy.
One final thank you belongs to you, the reader. Whether you liked my column on Facebook, told me in person that I did a good job, or if you told me I didn't know what the hell I was talking about, it meant a lot to me.
So there it is, one final story to leave you with. But what's the takeaway?
One thing I learned about myself in college is to never give up, be consistent and always carry yourself with class and dignity. Often times, especially at the beginning of most school years, I wanted to throw my hands in the air and walk away, but I didn't.
Many of the lessons I learned in college came not from a classroom, but from experiences both good and bad. Without a shadow of a doubt, my years here at UConn have been the best years of my life. When I walk across the stage in a couple of weeks at Gampel Pavilion, my mind will be clear and my heart full.
I'm not sure where my journey will take me next. When people ask me what you want to do after college or where do you see yourself in 15 or 20 years, one thought comes to mind. I want to find a peaceful plot of land and settle down making a good living with a loving wife and family. That's all I want out of this life and, in my opinion, it's not a bad goal to have.
This may be the final story I ever write as a journalist, or I may continue to write in one of the most noble and important professions I've come to understand. But one thing is for sure, the time I've spent here, the people I've met and the memories I won't soon forget mean the world to me and will last a lifetime.
Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerRMorrissey
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