To tell you the truth, I’m not sure where to begin.
My time at Indiana, as an undergrad, is now over.
It’s tough, it’s emotional. But it was everything I wanted…and then some. Four years, gone way too fast. Four years, that nearly felt like four months.
If you didn’t know, I’ve been a Hoosier since birth, almost 23 years ago. Some of my first outfits were in the cream in crimson. One of our family Christmas cards was in Indiana attire, while on the field at Memorial Stadium. Simply, it’s in my blood.
I verbally committed to Indiana at a young age. I usually tell people it was in the eighth grade because that’s when I knew it. That’s when I had made my own decision and I knew it was the place for me.
Sports. Yes, I’ll admit it. They were my number one factor. Basketball, football, soccer, women’s basketball…you name it, I loved and followed it.
“I’m looking for people that are going to understand why we wear the candy-striped pants. I am going to look for people who understand what that uniform stands for, why it says `Indiana’ on the front.” - Tom Crean
If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you I’m a diehard Hoosier and darn proud of it. How many students can say they went to every home football game as a student? How many can tell you they stayed for the entire game or actually remember going to the game. I can, because I care and love it — win or lose. (Nor did I miss an IU basketball game, with the exception of two during pledgeship.)
Sports meant a whole lot, but they weren’t everything.
Once on campus, I dived right in and got involved. Not only did it serve as a perfect way to meet new people, but it was taking advantage of all the unbelievable things Indiana had to offer.
In my four years, I was involved with IUDM, IU Student Athletic Board, IU Student Foundation, IU Student Association, IU Media Relations, Phi Psi fraternity (and executive board). As for my other passion, sports broadcasting, I was apart of WIUX (student radio station), IUHoosiers.com broadcasts and the Big Ten Network.
Indiana wasn’t just another university, or even the hometown school. For me, it was The School. I didn’t want to go anywhere else because IU had it all.
I remember in middle school and even in high school, my parents would ask where I wanted to go for fall break. “Bloomington,” I replied. “It’s the best place on earth. What can top it?”
I have so many tremendous memories at Indiana and there was never a dull moment. There was a never a time I felt bored and had nothing to do. (And that feeling doesn’t work for me. I always have to be active.)
Many suggested other schools with a better broadcasting department. I said no, I want to go to Indiana and I sure don’t regret it.
I took advantage of a lot of great opportunities, like joining Don Fischer on the IU Radio Network for the football broadcast in 2010 against Akron. Like joining Jeremy Gray on the radio broadcast of every home women’s basketball game. Like calling multiple men’s and women’s soccer games for IU’s webstream. And like announcing not one, but two men’s basketball games for the Big Ten Network…plus double-digit women’s games.
Incredible. Unimaginable. Unforgettable.
The men’s basketball team struggled, only winning 28 games in three years. They were one of the primary reasons I went to IU and I saw arguably the worst three years in history. But senior year sure made up for it.
The amazing win over Kentucky, thanks to the Christian Watford buzzer-beater. Beating two more top-five teams in Assembly Hall. Covering every home game, and following the team to the Sweet Sixteen where they lost to the eventual champions.
A road far less taken, but worth it, doing things in all the right ways. I like the fact that I’m leaving just when many of the teams have bright futures. Beyond men’s basketball. Kevin Wilson and the football team. Curt Miller and the women’s basketball team. And those are just two of the main ones.
Although my time at Indiana University is complete, as a student, I will never become a stranger.
Kory Barnett said it best to end his senior speech. “No matter where I go. No matter what I do, I will always be a Hoosier.”
Thanks Bloomington, for four special years. We shall meet again soon.
It’s Indiana, It’s Indiana.