When I took the role as sports editor last semester, I could never anticipate covering not only one conference move, but two.
Nor could I imagine the stress the job title would entail.
I’m not sure anyone could understand the difficulties of being a sports journalist unless you have been one.
I am a huge sports fan. Being the youngest and only girl in my family with three older brothers, there was no choice growing up.
But as I grew older I chose to embrace it and make it my career.
And the day I stepped on Butler’s campus four years ago, I started to bleed blue.
I wasn’t a journalism major until my junior year. For the first two years, one of which I spent in England, I went to all of the games, bought all of the T-shirts and supported Butler athletics to the fullest extent.
In fact, I was probably one of the few students who would go to football or soccer games just because.
Unfortunately, being a Butler fan became very difficult when I joined The Collegian sports staff. It started the battle of being a fan while still being professional.
That means no cheering, no yelling, no complaining about calls and remaining unbiased in the coverage of departments, teams and games.
It was easy enough my first semester on the paper, covering more sports news stories than games. But as I became the editor, I had to balance being a fan, a professional and a good example for my staff writers.
I can only hope that I’ve done that.
The job is demanding, and sometimes it’s difficult to hear from fans, students and officials who don’t always like what we’ve written.
People may think through the process I have lost my school spirit or become a “traitor” to the teams I fell in love with my freshman year.
But in reality, this position has allowed me to appreciate this university more.
Now, I don’t think Butler or the athletics department is flawless.
But I appreciate the effort to do things the right way with respect to the integrity and tradition of the Butler name.
I also appreciate the administration, coaches and athletes being available to student journalists. It wasn’t all the time by any means, but they treated myself and my staff as professionals and allowed me to become a better journalist.
That meant not always answering questions and at times refusing interviews. But I understood and respected that part of the job.
I witnessed firsthand the men’s basketball team defeating No. 1-ranked Indiana. But what many people didn’t see was what happened after the final buzzer.
While Butler celebrated the win and immediately went to press conferences, Indiana Coach Tom Crean took 60 minutes before he even made an appearance. Butler was humble and continued its next-game mantra.
Growing up as an Indiana fan, it was an eye-opening experience highlighting the differences between the two programs.
My respect for the ideals and composure of the athletics department grew remarkably.
This year has taught me so much about being a journalist, a student, a fan and a leader.
I can’t say going back I wouldn’t change anything, but I am leaving with no regrets.
I cannot thank my colleagues enough for the continued support and for becoming my second family.
Finally, as Butler joins the Big East and continues to grow, the university needs to make sure not to lose sight of the traditions and ideals that have made it what it is today.
My hope will always be that Butler remains the Butler I fell in love with not so long ago.