COLEMAN: It’s time to spread your wings

Kennedy+Coleman+in+the+Johnston+Hall+2nd+floor+control+room+in+January+2020.

Photo by Kennedy

Kennedy Coleman in the Johnston Hall 2nd floor control room in January 2020.

Who would have ever thought stepping out of my comfort zone to simply ask, “How can I get involved?” would be the prelude to life-changing experiences. For me, stopping by the Marquette Wire O-Fest table during my first year was a few moments well spent.

Before committing to Marquette, I was attracted to the opportunities in student media that truly gave students a chance to work at growing in their craft and developing new talents immediately. A promise that I made to myself before I began college was to push past previous doubts and insecurities that contributed to fears I faced in high school. 

This was a fresh start, to give it my best shot and step in front of the camera with an open mind and a smile week after week. The majority of my Monday and Wednesday nights during my first two years consisted of making the short yet reflective walk from Cobeen and Carpenter Tower to Johnston Hall, filled with butterflies in my stomach, my nerves on wits end and feeling an adrenaline rush that barely subsided over the years.

From preparing news scripts, running lines with my co-anchors, seeing the behind-the-scenes productions, and witnessing the team that pulled off an amazing student-run show, MUTV became the highlight of my week. 

Something that I’ve kept on repeat in the back of my mind since the beginning was that when my time was up here, I wanted to look back and say that I was intentional about maximizing all the opportunities around me. I loved volunteering my time at MUTV as much as possible.

When junior year came around, MUTV’s entertainment department held auditions for its rebooted, late-night show, Marquette Lately. Auditioning to be a weekly volunteer for the show was something I had no idea I would ever pursue or be what they were looking for, but I’m fortunate I stepped into that audition room that night.

Because of my time as a co-host on Marquette Lately, I began to see myself blossoming and it gave me friendships along the way. Each episode of the often unpredictable TV segments on the late-night entertainment show gave us hosts and our audiences a chance to break away from the stresses of homework and just be filled with laughter.

This last year, my academic load became heavier with six courses on my schedule, so my ability to maintain balance became challenging. There were many long nights and, I hate to admit, all-nighters to get everything done.

The drive to keep going was made possible thanks to my support system consisting of my family, friends, and campus communities, like InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Marquette Gospel Choir Club, which helped me build my faith and stay encouraged. Singing praises of gratitude, worshipping God and praying for one another made the challenging times easier to bear.

One thing I have learned is that there is so much value in having a like-minded community of people who hear and accept you to be vulnerable with.

My faith and maintaining a sense of gratitude became my anchor in helping me weather through the tough times. I’m especially thankful for the friendships that have blossomed especially those that began in my junior year, which helped me to really spread my wings.

After much encouragement from an upperclassman that I admire dearly, I finally decided to apply for the role as MUTV general manager in March 2019. This was a lot for a girl who was still trying to find and navigate her place. It’s because of the kind, passionate and uplifting souls like hers that embody the mission of MUTV, that I have been able to evolve as a leader over the past two years. 

To the talented MUTV team that I have had the pleasure of witnessing flourish in their unique strengths and creation of phenomenal content weekly, thank you for investing so much of yourselves.

This department has taught me so many lessons about working effectively, engaging with others and standing by the goals you set in order to solve unpredictable challenges. It’s been a joy to see how the bar has been raised in many aspects especially in the area of content coverage.

Looking back to how this team has remained passionate about mentoring each other and offering feedback and accolades demonstrates that you all have been graced to excel at whatever you desire to accomplish. I’ve seen that stand true over this year, and I’m excited about how your tenacity to keep the show rolling will create the future and the values that MUTV and the Wire hold true. 

The best is yet to come, team. It may not seem like it at the moment, but I’m assured that next year will be far greater than you could have ever imagined. Thank you for welcoming me into the Wire and becoming a family to me. The more faithful you are, the more you’ll surprise yourself with the exceptional work you’ll create together.

I’ll cherish our conversations, your warm smiles and inspiring drive that will stay with me forever. I’ll miss you all.

“That’s a wrap everybody.” I can’t wait to tune in next season.

This story was written by Kennedy Coleman. She can be reached at kennedy.coleman@marquette.edu.