Choosing Your Adventure

When I was in high school, I always saw the Choose Your Adventure advertisements that Iowa State runs. The ads jump around and show all of the opportunities and diverse paths that Iowa State students can pursue. I am going to graduate in August, so I thought it would be interesting to look back on my own adventure, the decisions I made, and what happened because of those decisions.

In the summer before my freshman year, I called the editorial adviser at the Iowa State Daily. I knew that I was probably going to major in journalism and mass communication and I knew that I wanted to write about sports. I hoped that one day I could cover Iowa State football and basketball.

Mark, the paper’s adviser, set me up and told me to come see him when I got to Ames. So, I came to school and got settled in. I remember being terrified of walking into the Iowa State Daily’s office. I was a freshman who didn’t know where anything was or how anything worked. I remember sitting outside The Daily’s office, and considered blowing it off and heading back to my dorm.

Three years later, I can say that working at the Iowa State Daily has been the single best decision that I have made in my college career. It opened up doors, both professionally and personally. Here’s a brief list of opportunities I have had simply because I worked at The Daily:

  • Covered the women’s basketball Big 12 championship in Dallas
  • Covered the men’s basketball Big 12 championship in Kansas City
  • Sat in the front row for almost every basketball game this season
  • Covered the NCAA tournament games in Denver and Chicago
  • Worked as a campus correspondent for Sports Illustrated
  • Watched Iowa State football games from the sidelines
  • Covered a game at legendary Allen Fieldhouse
  • Interviewed Steve Prohm, Georges Niang and other Iowa State athletes
  • Worked alongside professional media members, ranging from the Des Moines Register to ESPN.

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My adventure wasn’t a super curvy path. I knew that I wanted to work my way up to covering major Iowa State sports. I spent time covering smaller sports and worked my way up through The Daily until I got to cover basketball. My experience at The Daily and the relationships I built led to my contributing to Sports Illustrated’s website and a whole bunch of other cool stuff.

So that was my adventure. I knew what I wanted out of my experience and was fortunate enough to find it. But I think the cool thing about Iowa State is that so many people have similar stories. An engineer’s adventure can include being part of a team that builds a solar car or build a lunar robot as part of a NASA competition.

I mean, how cool is that?

You can be a part of the fashion show. You can do theater. You can join any of the 800 clubs and find a niche there. You can create your club. You can work and study under renowned professors. You can research. You can get into business, create your own app, start your own company. Iowa State has the resources to help you do pretty much anything.

My adventure was full of sports, and that’s pretty much just how I wanted it. Yours can be whatever you want it to be. I think the coolest part is that you might not even know what you want out of your adventure yet or what’s out there, but you get to find it along the way. And when you find it, go after it.

If I would have chickened out, walked back to my dorm and blown off The Daily way back in August of my freshman year, I would have missed out on a lot of cool opportunities and my college experience wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as it has been.

So go crazy. Do whatever your want. Choose your own path. Pursue everything. And most importantly, enjoy your adventure!

I know I did.

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