Max Samson/Editorial Artist

After my first semester at college, I had no sense of what I wanted. Despite all the fun and partying that was offered by a big school like the University of Central Florida, I just never felt at home. Leaving Orlando capped off an erratic six months of changes, both in and out of my control. As the eldest child in my house, I was the guinea pig for college commitments and certainly have the errors to show for it. From committing to Miami, to rescinding in June, to choosing UCF on a whim strictly due to warm weather, I was always searching for something bigger and superficial with my priorities unchecked. All of these sudden changes really beat up my self-confidence. However, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without this experience, as it taught me the importance of following your passion, which helps everything else fall into place.

Transferring to Binghamton University was far from easy, as I knew only a handful of people going in and had to start over socially. Wide-eyed and unsure of any decision I made, I decided to focus on the lone calming presence in my life by writing about sports for Pipe Dream. In the three-and-a-half years that followed, I became a part of a family that was so much bigger than any sports coverage I’ve done at BU.

Pipe Dream helped give me a sense of stability when I desperately needed it. As my commitment and involvement increased, my self-esteem rose as well. The office gave me the home I needed, and Pipe Dream has prepared me for the next chapter in my life.

While the lack of direction and despair I had is felt by many college students, it’s still an issue that’s bothersome, no matter how common it is. I hope everyone who is struggling with similar problems finds their Pipe Dream, as there is no better feeling than recovering from a time of hopelessness and dejection.

With all that said, it’s time for some shoutouts to the people who were integral to my time at Pipe Dream.

Emily and Bridget, thank you guys for an unforgettable senior year. You were both tremendous leaders and set such a friendly and inviting vibe in the office. Even though you guys didn’t buy an office water cooler — or a well — and booked full-page ads for the back page, I’m still incredibly grateful and appreciative of the jobs you both did in charge of the paper.

Jill and Ariel, thanks for being awesome friends. You guys both brightened up my day whenever I needed it.

Sam and Ed, you guys are going to kill it as assistant sports editors next year. Just a reminder to be yourselves and take this opportunity to learn and grow as much as you can. Maintain Sports’ reputation as the best section in the office.

Quick shoutout to Buffalo.

Justin, I’m so glad we got to have you on production staff for the past year. You’re an amazing writer, and you’re going to be a phenomenal sports editor. Hopefully, one of your favorite teams starts winning soon, because you deserve it; preferably, that winning starts on June 1. COYS!

Rebecca, thanks for filling in Grace’s role and taking half of my classes with me. Just kidding, but seriously, thank you for being an incredible friend for the past few years. You were always there for me whenever I needed to talk (unless that talk involved maintaining a Snapchat streak).

Grace, thank you for an incredible time on production staff. I was really glad we could relate through the Kardashians due to their involvement in sports. I really missed you this semester, but I’m glad you’re back from Colorado now and that we didn’t miss a beat catching up.

Sam, thanks for being the Sports section’s fearless leader for the past two years. You helped make Pipe Dream the rewarding and fulfilling experience it was for me. You’re the Steph to my Klay, the Serena to my Venus, the peanut butter to my jelly and the well to my water cooler. You and Grace helped provide some of my most memorable times in college, and I’ll always be thankful for that.

Evan Cole is a senior majoring in business administration. He is an assistant sports editor.