My last day in the office is this week, ending a year of great successes and big challenges. I will not be returning to work as a sports writer in the fall; instead, I will be working for Baylor Athletics in the sports media department. This opportunity would not have been possible without working at the Lariat this year, and with less than a week left in newsroom, I want to look back at the successful run.
1. The Lariat teaches you to work fast and learn quick.
In my first week at the Lariat, I was scared out of my mind. I was one of the youngest on staff, and I had no prior college work experience in this field. Four articles were due before the week was up, and that task seemed almost impossible. Fortunately, with the help of my sports editor Shehan Jeyarajah and plenty of other staff members, I managed to finish my first four articles in a relatively timely manner. Fast forward eight months and I can write three to four articles in ONE day. Yep, that’s possible, and now it has become a skill of mine. If I didn’t know how to do something, I had to learn. That was a part of the job, and I was able to ace every challenge that came my way.
2. This is the time to cover Baylor sports.
I am seriously so lucky to cover Baylor athletics right now. Watching the inaugural game at McLane Stadium from the press box, having courtside seating at every men’s basketball game, and traveling to places like Austin, Arlington and Norman, Okla. makes for some great point-of-views of each respective sport. Baylor won a program-best eight Big 12 titles this year, and I was able to be there for a majority of them. I walked on the field following the Bears’ win over Kansas State for another football championship in December, and that was special. It couldn’t get any better than that.
3. I have met some incredible athletes.
At the sports desk, I am required to provide news and feature stories on my beat sports: volleyball, football, men’s basketball, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis. Throughout that continuous process I was able to meet, talk with and interact with some of Baylor’s elite athletes this year. It’s not every day that you get to talk with Bryce Petty or Rico Gathers, but when you get the chance, it’s something very memorable. Some of my favorite stories I have written are of the athletes themselves. The Eddie Lackey article, my feature onBryce Petty’s legacy and my stories on tennis player Julian Lenz and volleyball athlete Tola Itiola definitely stick out to me. It’s those types of stories that take my breath away every time that I read them.
I’ve had a great time working in a newsroom and am excited to move on and start my new job, but I’ll definitely miss the Lariat. I’ll miss the late night nerf gun wars we get into after deadline, the constant laughs I have during a normal work day and everything in between walking in the door to the time I finally decide to leave. But most of all, I’ll miss the people that I work with.
Next year won’t be the same, but in the end it is all for a greater purpose. God has a plan for me, and although I am somewhat unsure of the future, I know that I am in good hands. God gave me this opportunity, and now He is calling me somewhere else. Sometimes, our path we know too well takes a different detour, and it’s up to us to trust in God and let Him guide us. That is what I will do now.
Thank you Baylor Lariat. I hope I’ve made an impact on you just as much as you have made an impact on me. Sic ‘Em Bears.