“The thing about doing what you love is you never know if it’s going to happen and you never know if you’re going to get to do it one more day, but the fact that you’re doing it right now or trying to do it or working towards it, it’s like stepping stones. If you really love it, the stepping stones working towards it are just as rewarding as getting to do it and ending up with that as your job.”  — Taylor Swift

What does Taylor Swift have to do with sports, the Daily Nexus or my time at UCSB? Technically nothing. In fact, on a scale from one to 10, their correlation would probably be a negative two.

Yet, this quote perfectly describes my four years with this paper and my two years as the Sports Editor because the fact is, most people search for a lifetime to find a job they love. I was lucky enough to discover my passion for sports journalism at 14. I took my love for writing and abnormally large passion for sports and squished them together. It stuck, and I’ve never looked back.

At UCSB, it’s only continued to grow. These four years have flown by and now, after studying for more hours than I’d like to count, writing hundreds of articles, spending dozens of late nights/new days in the Nexus office and having countless laughs, I formally say goodbye to the school (and that wonderful beach less than 10 minutes from my doorstep) I love so much.

SB has truly become my home. My time in Santa Barbara and with the Nexus has only been a part of my journey, but what a journey it’s been.

In my time here with the Nexus, I’ve written the season of our men’s soccer team that at one point was No. 2 in the nation. I wrote the track season in 2012 when we had athletes make it to Olympic Trials. I’ve done a one-on-one interview with three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings. I’ve sat courtside in the Honda Center not once, but twice, to watch our women’s basketball team in the Big West Playoffs, including watching the team win the title in 2012. I’ve won a CCMA award for a column I wrote on Title IX. And most recently, this year, I received the opportunity to interview the Sacramento Kings, my hometown team, during training camp here at UCSB.

My experience with the Nexus has truly exceeded anything I could ever imagine and I am truly honored to have brought you your sports coverage every day.

So Gauchos, while I’m going to leave the philosophical stuff to my co-editor, I do have two pieces of advice for you all.

It may be cliché, but find something you love and never let anyone tell you that you can’t or that you’re not good enough. I tell people all the time I would pay others to do my job. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.
The second is to enjoy the sports here. No, we’re not a part of the Pac-12 and we don’t have an elite football team, but we have some fantastic teams here on campus. Give them a shot.

Finally, I have some major thank yous to give out. First, thank you to my friends and family for your support and always reading my articles when I tell you to. Thank you to the athletic department for not only your verbal, but financial support. Thanks to every coach and athlete I’ve ever interviewed. I know I’m just a pain for you guys a lot of the time, but I really do enjoy and appreciate your time. Thank you to the 2011 softball team, my first ever team with the Nexus, for making me fall in love with sports journalism all over again.

A very special shout out to the women’s basketball teams the last three years. I’ve written every game covered by the Nexus during the Carlene Mitchell era and some of those moments have been my favorite during my time here. Of course, a very big thank you to Coach Mitch. You’re the coach I’ve most gotten to know on campus and I’ve loved every second talking with you and getting to pick your brain about women’s basketball.

Thanks to my staff, especially my co-editor PMO (we’ve made the best team), for putting up with my perfectionistic ways deep into the night. And most importantly, to the readers — you are the reason we’ve been the No. 9 newspaper the last two years. Keep it up.

Because I hate goodbyes, I’m simply going to say see you later, UCSB.