I came to the United States when I was 12 years old and didn’t speak English.
On May 6, I’ll graduate with a journalism major and a sociology minor with a job lined up at my dream company, ESPN.
It’s been a long and sometimes tiring ride. It’s been filled with doubt of whether I was good enough or strong enough. It’s been filled with criticism and anger over things I thought I couldn’t change.
But if journalism has taught me something, it’s that if you love something, you will pursue it.
I love journalism. I love the idealistic journalism that you see in movies: the late nights, the talks with sources, the need to seek the truth and the curiosity to find more.
I also love sports. I love how they make me feel. I love the rush and the story lines, the players, the tears and the trophies. It makes me feel alive.
At the University of Connecticut, I have been lucky enough to combine my passions and make them into a career.
So I want to thank all the people who have helped me become who I am.
This is the last thing I’ll ever write for the Daily Campus, the place that gave me a chance to sharpen my voice and my thoughts. I want to thank former Sports editor Dan Madigan for opening the doors for me and believing in me.
I will miss writing my soccer column every week. I will not miss writing about FIFA’s mess-up situation.
I’ll miss the cold nights at Joseph J. Morrone where I saw way too many overtimes. I will miss Ray Reid’s sassy comments and Len Tsantiris’s Greek accent.
I’ll miss the chance to see history happen like I did this year with the UConn women’s ice hockey team.
I’ll miss the chance to improve and grow as a person and writer.
Student journalism is more important now than ever and I was lucky enough to have chances with both the Daily Campus and UCTV. These two organizations have always been there for me (except for the day of the Pearlman Cup).
I want to thank my personal on-call editor Brandon Carney for editing most of my stories before they got sent in. You have helped me become the person I am today, and I’m forever grateful for your support and your being my partner for most of my projects.
Thank you UConn for showing me the greatness of women’s sports and giving me a voice as a female to talk about the issues that plague women’s sports.
To all the strong female role models I’ve encountered who have inspired me, including Lindsey Lemoine, Marie Shanahan, Terese Karmel and more.
You have created the path and I hope to make you all proud.
Thank you UCTV for taking me to Rentchler Field, Spectrum Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field and Nation Wide Arena.
I consider myself lucky to have found these two organizations, and in the process, to have found myself and the confidence to speak my mind.
I came to UConn only knowing soccer, and now I can confidently say I know most sports (except for baseball; I’ll get there).
Four years ago, I cried for two days after Argentina lost the World Cup in Brazil. Hopefully this time around things are different.
Lastly, thanks to my biggest supporters and the people who always believed in me even when I didn’t: my parents.
I will miss so many things here at UConn, but my journey and growth doesn’t stop here.
Thank you for everything, and I will see you at ESPN!
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.