I never knew much about UConn growing up.
Was the school good at basketball? Sure. It’s in Connecticut? Makes sense to me, but other than that I never thought twice about it.
But one day in the middle of the summer, before entering my senior year of high school, I drove into Storrs for the first time and everything changed. I fell in love with the campus and everything it had to offer. It got to the point where I was walking around my high school afterwards telling people I’d be going to UConn. I just had that special feeling that Storrs was where I was meant to be.
I joined The Daily Campus within my first two weeks on campus. I went to my first meeting and took on a story about the golf team. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t know anything about golf, but I wanted a story. The night I wrote it, I stayed up extremely late refreshing our website’s page looking for my story to pop up. I ran to the nearest dining hall to pick up a paper next morning just to see my name in ink.
I’ll tell you what, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life.
I tried to collect all my articles at first. After a while, the task became so overwhelming that I stopped, but I still have the first 20 or so stories, and there’s no doubt I’ll keep those forever.
Other than golf, I was lucky enough to cover so many different sports. You can find my bylines under stories for women’s lacrosse, field hockey (shout out my angel Nancy Stevens), men’s hockey and both basketball teams. I’m so grateful to be able to cover sports at such an elite school like UConn.
My time at The Daily Campus took me into the digital department. It was exactly what I needed to get more involved at the paper and find my niche within the field of journalism. Joining the digital staff my sophomore year, I soon realized what it really meant to work in journalism. My roommates certainly didn’t understand what kind of psychopath would be fine working until 2 a.m. most nights, but the more I did it … the more I loved it.
I loved it so much that I applied to become the Digital Editor of the paper my junior year. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to hold that position the last two years. It’s taught me so many life lessons, and I could not be more appreciative of all the position has done for me. Right now I don’t think I’ll miss all those late-night hours, but a month from now? I’m sure I’ll be sitting around asking myself why I’m not at The Daily Campus right now.
And there’s so many people I need to thank for having that feeling.
Of course, the last digital editor Cheyenne Haslett made it so easy for me to get comfortable at work. Thank you for pushing me to apply for to a job that would become such an important part of my life these last two years. To all of my sports editors –– Dan Madigan, Tyler Keating and Mike Logan –– I appreciate you guys always giving me an opportunity to pursue my passion for sports writing the last few years. My fellow Boston guys Matt Barresi and Bryan Lambert: I’ll always miss the massive amount of takes that come out of all of our mouths. Let’s try not to get used to all this winning we do, too. Molly Stadnicki and Chris Hanna, being Editor in Chief isn’t easy, so thank you for being so level-headed through the unexpected that happens legitimately every day. Steph Sheehan, you are the actual backbone of the Daily Campus and the reason people are able to pick up a new paper every morning. To Kim Nguyen, I can’t wait to see what you do as Digital Editor next year!
To the two guys who have managed to keep the business side of the DC floating the last two years, Ryan DeRosa and Liam Alfred, I appreciate all the hard work you guys do. You two have been okay roommates as well.
To everyone I haven’t mentioned by name –– family and friends and everything in between –– thank you for unwavering support throughout the years. It doesn’t go unnoticed, and I wouldn’t be here without all of you.
I’m not entirely sure about what I’m doing next, but The Daily Campus has opened so many doors that I’m sure I’ll find the right one to go through.
And when I do, I’ll be doing it with the full confidence that I can work until 3 a.m. without a yawn.
Connor Donahue is the digital editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at @conn_donahue.