Wow. It's really all over come December 17th.
The common questions I've received are "Are you excited?" "How are you feeling?" "Are you ready for the real world?"
I apologize in advance for the long words. This is a message to anyone with doubts of feeling as if they can't do anything or feeling like they are ready to give up.
It truly has been a lot to reflect on as I honestly did not think I would get this far. Everyone has high expectations for themselves. I did too, but I faced some real-world challenges in college.
I started college in August 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic. You cannot have a more difficult start to college than that. I was forced to take online classes and live in a dorm with no roommate and not even have the chance to invite guests. The pressure was so much that I actually failed my first semester of college. To give you an idea of how badly I struggled, I failed ACAD. Yeah, I know.
It was rough as I had to speak with someone every two weeks to make sure I was on the right track. I lost my scholarships and I was stuck owing the school money. Sure enough, I was finally on the right track again.
Everything started to fall into place for me in college, despite having to still take courses online. That was until the Fall semester of 2021. I found myself failing once again and officially on academic probation with the possibility of getting kicked out of college.
Found myself once again checking in with someone on a bi-weekly basis. Shoutout and much love to Ms. Rika Hudson as she guided me back in the right direction and I found myself starting to get back on track.
I would be lying if I said it was easy as it definitely was not. During that Spring 2022 semester, my father had a stroke and I found myself going straight to the hospital every day as soon as I left class. It was hard as professors were tired of me requesting extensions as I found it too much to handle. However, I survived, I passed the semester, and my dad made a full recovery.
The Fall 2022 semester was beginning to start great as I was hired to become an RA. I was finally excited to begin a semester of college as I was close to being a senior. Something that I had been thinking of for so long.
Then August 21, 2022, happened. I woke up to the news that a great friend from high school, Kelona, passed away in a car accident. It hurt me and I did not know how to feel. I was obviously sad, but I was someone who didn't cry much. I just felt blank as I had never experienced that kind of emotion in that situation. It was the first funeral I attended and I remember it being the first time I cried.
I knew I had two options going into the Fall semester. I could take a gap year and take time to myself, or I could finish college early and make Kelona proud by doing what she would have wanted me to do.
I went ahead and continued into the semester. It was one of the best choices I could have ever made. I met some incredible people during this time. Special shoutout to Dr. Byrd and Dr. Macklin. They made sure that I was okay not only as a student but as a human being.
I also earned the opportunity to write for The Daily Helmsman thanks to Lawrencia. I began writing about sports and covering some of the teams on campus. That's where I first began to have a bond with the Men's Soccer team. They welcomed me in with open arms and it was something that I was proud of.
That Fall semester proved to be one of my best semesters as I finished it with a 3.25 GPA. It was at that moment I knew that I wanted to finish my degree.
In the Spring semester, I met some great people who would prove to be my favorite people. Shoutout BJ, Johnny, Andre, Autumn, Deja, Cal, Taylor, Paige, Star, and everyone else.
It was a great semester as I was asked to be the first Sports Editor for The Daily Helmsman since the pandemic. I also made the Dean's List and I earned a scholarship for the first time.
It was awesome as I had the chance to do the things I wanted to do, cover the sports I wanted to cover, and make a name for myself as the best Sports Editor I could be.
I took a trip during that summer to the NABJ Convention, and I was motivated by the number of professionals who told me that I was on the right track to accomplish my dream of being a sports reporter.
Unfortunately, everything can't be good as I had to move out of my apartment and back into my mom's house. Sure enough, we had to move before the start of the semester and I was scrambling to figure out how I would even go to school on a daily basis.
Luckily for me, I bought my first car but it came with the price of breaking up with my ex of a year. However, the people around me made sure that I was in a good mindset, and that I enjoyed my last semester.
It's safe to say that I truly enjoyed it and I enjoyed my time in college. I plan to really soak in the future that I have ahead of me, but it genuinely would not be possible if it were not for me joining The Daily Helmsman. I tell people all the time that The Daily Helmsman will take them so far because I know I'm not the only one.
I worked and got super close with the Men's Soccer team and I witnessed them make history that it felt like I was a part of. Those guys forever hold a place in my heart as they mean so much to my career. However, none of that could have happened if I had not decided to write for them when no one else did.
I'm ready to begin my career as I currently intern at Action News 5. Hopefully, you all will see me on local TV as it is a dream of mine.
As I prepare to finally walk the stage on December 17th, I want to say thank you to everybody. This was hard to write as the emotions really were poured in every word I typed, but it shows that I persevered through every obstacle and overcame it thanks to the man above.
Thank you everyone. It was a true blessing to serve as your Sports Editor. Go Tigers Go!