SCHULTZ: I did it

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(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

I always wanted to be a Golden Eagle.

I started college five and a half hours away at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and was there for three years. In my time there I was admittedly a terrible student with no drive for school. I’d walk the halls around campus surrounded by purple and just think about how much I hated the color, but in reality, I didn’t feel at home or comfortable.

Heading into my junior year I told myself I’d get my grades up and apply to Marquette, where my mom went to school and where I’d always wanted to go.

I applied in early June of 2020 not thinking there was a shot I’d get in. I was surrounded by my friends in my Mankato apartment during one of the countless movie nights we had during the pandemic when I opened an email saying I’d been accepted into Marquette.

None of them knew I’d even applied, so I kept quiet and after the movie, I went for a drive and screamed “feeling like D-Wade” the entire time as Wade is my favorite athlete.

The next morning I called my mom and said “I did it” on repeat over the phone from my black Chevy Trailblazer outside my apartment. I could tell she was proud of me.

When I came to Marquette I thought I’d lived my college experience already and that it was time to put the fun aside and focus on school and being the best person and student I could be.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In my first year at Marquette 2020-21, I did well in my classes, way better than I ever did in a semester at Mankato.

Then over the summer I applied to be a sports reporter and had little to no journalistic experience aside from things I’d done in class. I had my interview with John Leuzzi and a couple of weeks later I received an email saying I’d gotten the job.

I was beyond excited.

I was assigned to cover the volleyball team with no expectations of what the next couple of weeks and months had in store.

The first in-person game I ever covered was when Marquette hosted Wisconsin, the eventual National Champions. There was a sea of red and the line to get in wrapped around the corner.

It was my first taste of what being a sports reporter would be like. I had to pinch myself because I couldn’t believe I got to cover that game and that team.

In my year and a half with the Wire, I’ve done more than I ever would’ve expected. From going to West Lafayette, Indiana to cover the NCAA Volleyball Tournament to going to Uncasville, Connecticut to cover the women’s basketball team in the Big East Tournament. I never thought that would be me.

I’ve worked alongside some great writers, all of which are even better people and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of them.

As I graduate I know my chapter with the Wire is over and that the next page will be written shortly, but before I start the next chapter I’ll re-read this one a couple more times, and say “I did it” once more.

This article was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at b[email protected] or on Twitter @benschultz52.