I was standing in the bathroom of my house on campus, brushing my teeth after a late night of working on the sports section of the Daily Pennsylvanian. It was my sophomore year, in my first month as a sports editor.
Akhilesh was standing next to me, confused as to why I was spending 20 hours a week working an unpaid job in an industry I wouldn’t be pursuing a career in. Maybe it was just the Whartonite in him, but what I was doing simply did not compute.
He had a good point.
Unlike many of my colleagues, media and journalism has never been my goal. I wrote about sports because they’re entertaining and human. The sport may vary, but the emotion and the intensity is constant.
In DPOSTM — the DP’s Only Section That Matters — I found many great friends and mentors. We took a lot of pride in our work, but we also knew how to have fun in the sports office. Whether it was playing soccer in the middle of the office or having music-themed weekdays, there was always something going on and good friends to hang out with.
Best of all were the roadtrips. I’ll never forget my first trip up to Columbia, when I was in my first semester and barely understood the first thing about the DP or sportswriting. Little did I know that those were just the first of hundreds of hours I’d spend with Steven Tydings working in our department.
There was the trip to Brown and Yale, where I woke up to find that my car had been towed in Providence. There was the trip to Duke last semester — where I wrote my final story for the DP — covering the team I cared about the most.
Most important of all, there was our trip to Tennessee. It was one of the most boneheaded decisions we made, but between a penguin hat and the joys of watching the sun rise over the horizon in Virginia, that trip was everything.
I’m glad I spent all the time I did there and I’m glad I stepped away last year when my term as Sports Editor came to a close. I learned a lot in that office, and I have so many people to thank for those experiences.
To John Philips and Mike Tony, thanks for introducing me into the wackiness that is DPOSTM. I’m thankful I had such good writers to look up to when I was a freshman.
To Ian Wenik, you’re a big guy.
To every reporter who uses “Talk about” questions, that’s still my biggest pet peeve. For the love of God, please actually ask a question.
To uber dashes, I never used you before I came to the DP — but I don’t know what I’d do without you now.
To Colin and Laine, we spent a lot of long nights in that office and it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without the two of you. It was exactly the right amount of craziness and sanity.
To Nick, you were the best scopy editor in DPOSTM’s history. But realistically, thank you for working your ass off to keep DPOSTM great.
To Steven, we didn’t start the fire.
To Riley, I still follow Vanderbilt women’s bowling on Twitter, and it’s all your fault.
To Carter, I can’t find the right words to thank you. You know how much you mean to me.
To Paola and Tiff, LCL may be dead but my terrible dance moves will be forever.
To Alexis, Sam, Memes, Munson, Nowlan and the rest of DPOSTM, thanks for giving the editors a reason to work their asses off. You all made DPOSTM the enjoyable experience it was for every one of us.
You all are the reason I worked at the DP, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.
HOLDEN MCGINNIS is an Engineering senior from Gladwyne, Pa., studying computer science. He served as a sports editor on the 131st board. Previously, he was a sports reporter.