Growing up, every kid aspires to be something great. Everyone knows the typical desires – some of us want to be firemen, some of us doctors, some of us astronauts. When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be a professional baseball player. I had dreams at night of playing center field for the New York Yankees, winning numerous World Series titles and popping numerous champagne bottles along the way. After all, who wouldn’t want to live that life?
Eventually, as time went on and I grew older, injuries and, well, physical limitations kind of put a damper on that dream. I loved baseball then, and I still do now; but maybe becoming an MLB player just wasn’t in the cards for me.
So as a 15-year-old kid entering my sophomore year of high school, I realized by this point that I probably wouldn’t be going pro in baseball in a few years.
Before my sophomore year began, my mother recommended that I sign up for a journalism class as an elective course. Why? I’m not really sure, to be honest. For some reason, my mother thought I would make a good writer, and I said, “What the hell, why not?”
I remember my first day in that journalism class as just a 15-year-old kid, clueless of what the word “journalism” even really meant. I mostly remember being so lost when my teacher told me to cover my first story. I was apprehensive at first, wondering if signing up for this elective class was really a good decision after all, but I stayed patient and open-minded.
Fast forward a couple of years, and here I am as a junior in college, writing this column, reflecting on those days of when I was unsure of what this whole “journalism” thing was all about. I reflect on these days because one week ago today, on March 14, I was fortunate enough to be elected as the next editor in chief of The Carroll News after spending the last two-plus years as Sports editor. Quite frankly, I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative of the opportunity.
Consider this: Five years ago, I had no idea what it meant to “cover a story.” Last night on Wednesday, March 20, I covered the Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers game as a credentialed NBA media member – my fifth time doing so. I don’t bring this up as an attempt to brag, but rather to compare and contrast how much can change over the course of just a few years. Crazy how things change over time, isn’t it?
Buried away somewhere in a computer desk drawer at my house in Rochester, N.Y. is the very first article I ever wrote, at the age of 15. After my final baseball game in the summer of 2007, I wrote a “game recap” (that’s a generous way to put it) about how my team won the postseason championship. To be blunt, the article was horribly written. I didn’t have much of an idea or direction as to how to actually write an article, and for understandable reasons. Sometimes though, I’ll re-read that article and think about what a difference that time makes.
If I was never open to the idea of signing up for that journalism class all those years ago, I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be today or what I’d be doing. For much of the past three years, journalism and writing for The Carroll News has been my main focus. It’s what I want to do after college, and I’ve known that for quite some time now. And to think how different that could all be if I decided against taking that journalism class as a high school sophomore.
Moral of the story: Open yourself to new ideas, opportunities and experiences. After all, you never really know what life has in store for you, do you?