As we grow up, we often wonder what our purpose is, our reason for being, and how we will contribute to society.
We spend so much of life worrying about these things that sometimes we forget just to enjoy the journey.
Yes, we need direction, goals, and dreams.
But the journey we take and the friends we make along the way matter just as much, if not more.
I’m happy that being open-minded and willing to change course has led me to find my passion in sports reporting.
Before I found my calling, I had to be in a position to find it.
That all started with me joining Oakland.
I still remember the excitement I had when I found out I would play volleyball here for this school.
I think we all get that exhilaration when telling our loved ones and feeling a sense of accomplishment.
You just know your life would change for the better once you sign that Letter of Intent.
But how it would change, well, that’s the exciting and mysterious part.
For me, I was focused on two things.
Volleyball and school.
And school was the really tough part.
Not because of the actual work per se, but rather because I wasn’t feeling inspired or passionate about anything I explored.
At first, I thought I would do something in business, sales, or marketing.
However, after taking those classes, they just weren’t for me.
And I took that as a sign.
I knew I needed to find something else.
That’s when my friend Brittany Welch suggested that I try doing some sports reporting.
She was the current sports reporter and thought I’d be a great fit since I was an athlete myself.
It’s funny, but it never dawned on me that this was an option for me.
Once I thought it over, it was clear that this was a great idea.
I’m already deeply immersed in sports, and I’ve always been the type to watch sports coverage at night and constantly listen to sports talk radio.
Changing majors and career paths can be scary, but not trying something you know is good for you is even more frightening.
So, with that in mind, I talked to a lot of staff here at Oakland, expressing my interest. And obviously, it’s not like positions just magically appear.
So, I was in it for the long-run.
It did take some time before I got to actually fully embrace this new challenge, but in the meantime, I had plenty of work to do, did some shadowing, and just did everything I could to be ready and available when the time was right.
And soon after, it was.
I got my first big opportunity to report for a softball game last spring.
I was finally in front of the camera.
And it was kind of terrifying, to be honest!
You think it’s not so hard or not so bad, but when the camera is rolling, and you have to be professional and ‘perfect,’ it’s another level of intensity.
While it was a bit nerve-racking initially, it was undoubtedly a thrill.
It felt great to be in the mix finally, and I instantly felt like I belonged.
It was a very rewarding feeling, and I’m eternally grateful for Oakland’s support in helping me find my calling.
For everything we gain, we lose something.
For me, I gained a newfound passion and career.
What I lost was my free time!
I now have to balance athletics, academics, and these sports reporting opportunities.
Again, Oakland has been great with giving me a realistic workload, but this is intense no matter how you slice it.
It means I must be on top of everything and schedule my days a week in advance to not fall behind.
Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a student-athlete and sports reporter, I embrace the juggling act of all my different trades.
I’m so excited about the future.
I still have a lot of competitive playing left to do, and I’m equally excited about hosting my own first show now, The Full Court Press, where I get to interview student-athletes from all sports.
I don’t know exactly where I’d like to fit in the sports reporting world, but I just feel so grateful that I get to experience so many different things here at Oakland, and even get to have my own show.
While I can’t speak for other universities, I’m not sure there are many other places that truly guide a student-athlete the way Oakland did for me.
Regardless of what my future holds, I feel beyond blessed to be a part of such a special community.
Thank you, Oakland, for helping me find my calling.