Ever since I can remember, I have been a quiet kid. I’m probably the last person to spark up a conversation, even if it’s with people I know. When getting ready to come to Binghamton, that was something that terrified me.

Everyone talks about putting yourself out there and taking chances in college, but that was never part of my personality. I figured I could come to college, be quiet and still enjoy it here.

I was able to make some great friends freshman year, but other than that my freshman year was miserable. I majored in engineering, which was much tougher on me than I ever thought it would be.

In the summer after freshman year, I hated Binghamton and I thought about transferring. After my mom convinced me to give it a shot, I decided to call Harpur Academic Advising and change my major.

There are two things that I believe changed my time here at BU for the better. The first being that when I called to change my major, Jill Seymour, the associate director of Harpur Academic Advising, answered my call.

I cannot thank her enough. She stuck with me as I attempted to raise my grades (yeah, engineering was really hard) and transfer into Harpur. She even found a way for me to graduate on time.

As happy as I was returning for my sophomore year with classes that I would actually enjoy, I felt that I should finally put myself out there. I decided to go to several general interest meetings. On a random Tuesday in the fall semester of 2014 I walked into the Pipe Dream GIM, and that was the second moment that changed my college experience.

I never thought that walking into a GIM where I knew zero people would lead to finding the one thing I was passionate about during my college career.

I have always been a huge sports fan, whether I’m watching sports or reading about sports. When I finally got to cover my first sports game and write about it, I immediately loved it. It’s much harder than I thought to sit down and write about a sporting event, but it was an exciting way to improve my writing as a whole.

After two years of being a sports writer, I was hired to join the staff as an assistant sports editor, and it has been the most rewarding experience I’ve had in my four years in Binghamton. It hasn’t always been easy for me personally, but I wouldn’t change anything about my experience at Pipe Dream.

I have met some amazing people and seen firsthand all the hard work that goes into making this paper. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work at this paper.

Even through all of these great experiences, I have remained the same person. I’m still the same quiet, shy kid, but that doesn’t mean I’m not touched by all the amazing friends I’ve made here at BU.

To my fellow Pipe Dream staff members — Although I may not be the most talkative and I tend to stick to myself during production, I couldn’t have had more fun in my year on staff. You are all amazingly talented and being around all of you each production was a joy and made my time here 100 times more enjoyable.

To all my housemates, former and current — You guys are the greatest, thanks for making each weekend here so good that I could forget all the school work I had yet to do.

Finally to my Mom, Dad, Ryan and Shannon — Thanks for believing in me and getting me through these four years, even when I thought the fact that I would graduate on time was a complete pipe dream (get it?).

Kyle McDonald is a senior majoring in English.