I often think about how many times you get to experience the first day of your life.
Not literally. That’s weird. I mean, how many times are you awarded a day so significant that it feels deserving of an entire chapter?
My best friend Ty said 50. My guess was 14. The only thing I know for sure is that The Daily Texan has given me a lot of them.
The first time I ever heard the words “Daily Texan,” I saw a group tabling near the CMA. Some guy with braces told me to write down my email address. Kinda nice. Super bald.
It’s a good thing he did. If he hadn’t, you’d be hearing from a very different version of myself. If it weren’t for the Texan, I wouldn’t be as confident as I am. I definitely wouldn’t be on my way to Sports Illustrated. And I would’ve never met a lot of people I’ve come to love.
Alex, since I started working with you, my standard for journalism has been raised. It’s the reason I spent every week of football season trying to write a better story than you. You are the reason I want to be the best at this — because you bring out some of the best in me. You’re my Juan in a Million.
Lili, you’ve been in my life longer than anybody at the Texan. For some reason, the universe brought us together in that journalism lab and I’m forever grateful for it. When I come to Hyde Park, I always know there’s a frozen pizza calling my name.
Andrea, the first time I met you, we were at Pluckers. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. You are almost as great as those
You give without asking for a single thing in return. You are supportive of even my loftiest aspirations. Because of you, I feel more like myself than I have in a very long time. Thank you.
To the rest of Andrea Queen (Vanessa, Drew and Angela), thanks for inviting a lowly swimming and diving writer to come hang out. Kirsten, my Sebastian stan, thanks for being an easy target. See you in New York.
To everyone in the sports department that makes us the most fun corner of the basement, this has been an incredible ride. Robert, you cover the NIT like nobody’s business. Donnavan, I’ve had a blast clowning people with you. Keep doing it for the both of us. And to Keshav, the Ayo to my Teo, we’ll always have Atlanta.
To Forrest and Catherine, thanks for being sports allies. Ellie, thanks for hiring a subpar GR, but a half-decent sports editor.
Believe it or not, I’m typing these final words ahead of deadline. Maybe I’ll just hold onto it for a few more hours. You know, for old times’ sake.