I think college is all about finding a home, literally and figuratively. When I moved to Fort Collins, it quickly became a place that I could call home, but finding a comfort zone in what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go took much longer.
For the early part of my college career I cruised along through my classes in a major I liked, but didnâ€™t love. I was working toward a degree in English, but I wasnâ€™t getting any closer to finding a career.
Then, finally, as I neared the conclusion of that degree, I figured out that reporting was what I wanted to do. That finally got me on the right path. I added a journalism major, but much more importantly, I joined the Collegian and found my home.
Two years later I can say without a doubt that working at the Collegian is one of the best things that has happened to me. Professionally, the paper has given me the tools necessary to be ready for a career in the field.
I have had the fortune of covering some amazing games, the top ones being volleyballâ€™s upset of Nebraska and the menâ€™s basketball teamâ€™s defeats of three top-25 teams at Moby Arena, as well as being at the Mountain West and NCAA Tournaments.
While it has been fun being at all these big games, Iâ€™ve also learned how to work under the pressure and time crunch that is brought along with them. That experience will serve me well in the future.
So here is my pitch to students: if you seriously want to be a journalist, come work in student media. There is no other way to be ready for the journalism world than to have the real-life experience that you get here. Iâ€™m sorry to my journalism professors, but there is no class work that can make you ready to be a journalist. You have to actually go do it.
While the Collegian has been key for my professional development, itâ€™s the people I work with who have made it feel like home. Itâ€™s only been this past year I really was in the newsroom a lot and got to know the people I work with.
They are truly an amazing group. There is so much energy and drive in that newsroom, itâ€™s something to behold. I donâ€™t want to list everyone off and have this start reading like roll call, but you guys know who you are.
Iâ€™ve had so much fun getting to know you all and hanging out with you and having totally absurd, but fun, conversations with you. You guys are great people and I canâ€™t wait to see where you all go in life and I plan on keeping our friendships going, even as we spread across the country.
If youâ€™ll bear with me, there are a few people I need to thank by name. Mom, Dad, Marc and Amy have always been there to help and support me with anything I need. They never question what Iâ€™m doing. They just make sure they give me the tools to succeed. I know that I am blessed to have such a loving, close-knit family.
Kelsey, while youâ€™re not technically family, you might as well be. I couldnâ€™t be luckier to have met my best friend on our first day of college. Iâ€™ll never be able to thank you enough for everything you do, I couldnâ€™t have made it to where I am without you.
A last thank you goes to my readers. I sincerely appreciate all of you that read my work daily. Also, Iâ€™ve created a bit of a relationship with some of you through Twitter and my live chats. I canâ€™t tell you how much more enjoyable it makes it to have your interaction while covering these games. It is greatly appreciated. I hope that I have been able to make your experience as a fan just a little better.
With that, my Collegian career is over. Thank you everyone. Itâ€™s been a remarkable ride and something I will never forget.
Kevin Lytle is now the former Assistant Sports Editor. He appreciates his readers and hopes they stay in touch on Twitter by following @kevin_lytle.