In case you were wondering: New Beginnings

Moving to a new place can always be scary. A new city, a new job, a new apartment and nobody you know is a tough combination. Or at least it should be.

When I was offered my job here at the Marshall Independent, I was working in Baltimore, Maryland and was spending my summers in Naples, Maine. I was at a company with people who have become my family and I was doing what I loved everyday. Not many people can say that, even after working 15-hour days, they still wake up every morning excited to go to work.

There was only one problem with all of this; it was a seasonal job. I knew that if I wanted to move forward in my career, I needed to find a year-around job. I’ve always had a passion for sports and photography, and was lucky to have a friend who knew of a sports reporter job opening at a newspaper in Marshall.

After accepting the job here, I had two weeks; two weeks to quit my job, move all of my things back to my parents house, pack it all up again and move down here. I spent almost a week packing up out east and saying my goodbyes before making it back to my childhood home in Big Lake. Needless to say, my parents were just happy to have me back in the same time zone again.

As a Minnesota native originally and as a Minnesota State University (Mankato) graduate, I knew a little bit about the area around Marshall, but had only been to town a few times.

My first real experience in Marshall came a few days before I was scheduled to start. I came down to fill out some paperwork and was introduced to dozens of co-workers, coaches, administrators and athletes. It was a bit of an overwhelming experience, but I did notice one thing; everyone around here seems to be very friendly.

I was able to find an apartment and moved in just one day before I started my new job. After a sleepless night, I went into the office and was thrown into the mix right away.

I learned very quickly that sports are very important in this town. Whether it be volleyball, football, soccer or any other sport you can think of, the Marshall area seems to excel at it. This has made my job a lot of fun.

I’ve been able to watch the Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team move up to No. 2 in the country and see coach Terry Culhane break the school record in all-time wins. I got to watch the Marshall football team stop Hutchinson with time expiring in an amazing game to advance to state. I’ve seen Minneota get their hearts broken after their volleyball team lost in sections, but were picked up by their football team who advanced to the State Championship game.

I’ve only been here for a few weeks, and I’ve already seen so much success and so much heartbreak. I’ve seen parents, coaches and fans of all ages cheer passionately for their teams, no matter what the score is. I’ve seen records broken and underdogs overcome the greatest of challenges.

Most importantly, I’ve learned what a truly special place this is. The people I’ve worked with and the things I’ve seen have shown me what can bring a town together. All of this has helped me realize that even though I left a family back out east, I’m making a new one here in Marshall.