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Senior Column: It’s about the future

Ronan Khalsa, former Sports Editor, is a sports communication and marketing double major.

I’ve obviously been waiting to write this column since freshman year.

Here’s the issue, back then, I was a bad writer, plain and simple. The Scout sports section even stopped assigning me articles at one point.

And for that, I thank former editors half-heartedly. It taught me that I need to acquire skills that only a university on an extremely small hill in Illinois could provide me. Throughout my college career, I had eight jobs on campus, attended tuition-free and built multiple relationships among the Bradley community.

I always enjoyed flying out of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and promoting the brand with my red hoodie. At first, I was an emotional boy with a colorful turban and eventually, now, a young man who still had his New England strong views with an often-unshaven face.

Currently, I do not have a job lined up following graduation. But, I do believe that Bradley set me up for success, at least I hope. 

On April 9, Bobby Parker, BU’s associate AD for communications and event and facility operations, followed me back on Twitter after three years, and then on April 16, hit me with a Facebook friend request. I believe this says something about how I built my way up in his eyes. As a freshman working for Braves Vision, I think I annoyed BP, or at least he didn’t think much of me. Moral of the story: I came a long way in the past four years.

So thank you Cole Bredahl, Anthony Landahl, Austin Shone, Tony Xu, Julia Caesar, Tim Ruesche, Bobby Parker, Brian Scheffler, Brooke Buzard, Nathan Bramwell, Pam Miller – my work-related mentors who stuck it out and taught me. 

Another thanks goes out to the in-the-classroom teachers Mitch Griffin, Brad Eskridge, Dunja Antunovic, George Burek, Larry Weinzimmer. All my professors helped me immensely, but these individuals will stand out in my memory. Lastly, Nancy and Will for always putting a smile on my face when getting food in the student center.

My time in Peoria will be highlighted by the trips I took: a train ride to Michigan via Chicago for Thanksgiving with the extended family (shout-out goes to Tony), California ski mountains and hot springs (shout-out cousin Laura), St. Louis (shout-out men’s basketball being good), Italy (shout-out the Better Half), Nashville (shout-out COVID-19) and earning an intramural softball championship shirt (shout-out Sons of Pitches).

Additionally, I will never forget that Cole Bredahl, Cody Schindler and Josiah Ulrich have a higher pay-grade than me. Josiah, once again, you’re welcome. I’ll keep working my way up in the competitive job market that is sports. 

I was able to gain marketing, research, community outreach, live television production, journalism, media relations and corporate partner activation skills throughout my college career. If I didn’t pick up the marketing major I don’t think I would have the same opportunities with just a sports communication degree.

I devoured many Moe’s stacks and Chick-fil-A spicy sandwiches (without pickles) during my time and dining dollars acquired through three years of dorm living. My college roommates were all good guys which I can appreciate after sharing houses or rooms with more than 20 others in my life. I can confirm that Heitz is the best hall. I also cooked a lot of “food that smells good” according to my middle-American roommates who struggled to clean my senior year off-campus.

Everyone who knew me: I appreciate you giving me a hard time and pushing me out of my comfort zone. The Scout was a big part of this; I enjoyed the times and extremely late nights, and I hope Trip-L’s hires me once he makes it big-time. 

I’m ready for the future that Bradley helped me get to, although I still think I should have looked into the University of Vermont a bit more. New England is much better than any Midwestern state. With that being said, although it’s flat, there are some fantastic developing minds out there.

One last thank you goes to Marlboro College for providing me a fantastic upbringing and what universities should definitely not do so that I have a good perspective for my senior-level marketing projects. Obviously, I couldn’t do it without my mom’s constant hard work as a dean and father’s sage advice.

I grew in countless ways, including my appearance. I suppose that’s what college is all about.

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