Four years in 700 words

farewell column

When I was 9, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. 

When I was 12, they did it again.

And again when I was 14.

When I was 15, the Cubs broke an unbreakable curse and won their first World Series in 108 years. 

Growing up, I was enthralled by sports. I loved competition and I loved winning. I latched onto all the Chicago teams and it was just as easy to latch onto Duke when I got accepted. 

To be honest, I tried to write this big, eloquent piece encapsulating everything from my four years at The Chronicle, but it just didn’t sound right. All I really have to say is that I’m thankful for the opportunities I had here, and that starts with the opportunity to stay so close to sports — something I did not think I would get to do after high school.

I’m thankful for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities you just can’t get elsewhere on campus.

How many people can say they have sat courtside in Cameron Indoor Stadium? How many can say they have interviewed Coach K (or said "hi" to him in a buffet line)? How many can say they have been in the press box in Wallace Wade Stadium alongside NFL scouts? How many can say they have (metaphorically) dunked on a Daily Tar Heel reporter on national TV? This list could go on forever. 

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have had a spark of craziness in my college life.

Like how my freshman year, I covered a women’s basketball game at No. 8 N.C. State with another freshman writer and a freshman photographer. None of us had ever traveled for coverage before and the whole trip was a disaster from the very start. We couldn’t find the car in Blue Zone that had been generously loaned to us by a senior writer. We ran into significant traffic on the way to the game and showed up late. We had no idea where to sit and ended up finding empty seats in the stands until someone kicked us out, eventually finding our designated seats under the hoop. It was a completely packed house, so loud I could barely hear myself think. Duke won a thriller and I had to finish up the gamer off my hotspot on the car ride back. It was a disaster, but an unforgettable experience. 

I’m thankful for the opportunity to write again and pursue a passion I picked up in middle school. 

I love writing, but I never wanted to go into journalism professionally. I love writing about what I love and hate writing about what I don’t. That, more than anything else, drew me into The Chronicle. This was always a place where I could pick stories I wanted to, avoid ones I didn’t and make up my own: my first ever article was about whether Zion Williamson’s rank in the NBA Top 100 was fair. With no judgment passed, this was always a place I could write as myself.

There’s a thank you owed to some of the people I’ve come across in my time: Michael Model, Derek Saul, Evan Kolin, Cam Polo, Em Adler, Jonathan Levitan, Sasha Richie and Micah Hurewitz. You all imparted great wisdom onto me, and taught me how to be a better writer and person. I owe a special shoutout to two guys on the staff: Jake Piazza and Max Rego. We came from Day 1 together and I couldn’t ask for two better friends. 

When Cam brought me to a Sports meeting for the first time, I was terrified because I thought this was far more “real” than any journalism I had encountered writing for my high school. I thought I was going to be the least experienced, knowledgeable and prepared writer in the room. But when you get asked to name your favorite three fruits as an icebreaker, it will throw your nerves right out the window. 

Freshman Alex did not know the great road ahead. Countless blogs checked in and out of CEO, podcasts recorded, long nights in the office and doors signed. 

Looking back on my four years here, it’s hard not to be thankful.

Alex is a Trinity senior.


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