When I set foot in Storrs for the very first time, I jokingly asked myself in my mother tongue, ‘den a yuh so me one ago go school?’ I remember clearly, the summer before the beginning of my first semester as an international transfer student. There was excitement and there was uncertainty — as it would have be me by myself navigating this — what I would come to learn at a big campus. I left all expectations and was prepared to embrace all that this journey would entail. The only part of me that I took with me to Storrs was my love for writing; so it was no surprise that on the eve of the beginning of the new school year, I found myself in a meeting at the building that occupies 1266 Storrs Road. That marked the beginning of a journey that would help me overcome my imposter syndrome.
My days at The Daily Campus reminded me of that good ole saying “wherever you go, there you are.” As isolated as I felt from the campus at times, writing for the DC was my constant reminder that I’m doing everything I thought I wasn’t. Despite being miles away from home, I was right here at home with my pen and my papers (yes I wrote my stories before typing them for submission). I remember the very first story I had published, I still have the physical copy — it was about the Jorgensen Center giving free tickets to students. By the following week, I was on the front page with my story about the fees for the new Rec Center, and yes I still have a copy of that paper.
From then I would go on to cover former draft prospect and now Giants O-Line Matthew Peart, I would find home in being the beat writer for UConn Track and Field, I would shed light on the University of Connecticut and the UConn Police’s handling of sexual assault cases, all while being one of the few if not the only campus correspondent writing news and sports. It meant a lot to little me from Jamaica; that I could come to Storrs, find my voice, own my place and take up space.
The Daily Campus was in many ways a blessing, but the one that trumps everything is me finding the comfort to live truly and freely in my own skin, and shout who I am from a flagpole if I needed to. Robin Rouleau, thank you! When I came to the DC Building the very first time, you were my first interaction with someone who represented whom I knew I was. Though brief and short-lived, my interactions with Robin drove it home that yes I could embrace my trans-identity and still enjoy my passions for writing and sports; and so I did. My time at the DC laid the foundation and reminded me that despite how the world may view myself and many others, the most accurate and important detail about me was just a simple person who enjoys writing and loves sports. It was here at the DC that I was also reminded that despite not seeing many if any transgender journalists in mainstream, my visibility here mattered and it has blazed the trail for others after me.
Words might fail me, but I will forever hold the memories and the key moments that have marked my life here at The Daily Campus.
Que Será Será