Fun fact about me: I love driving. To me, being behind the wheel is peaceful and gives me plenty of time to think. That’s probably good because in the 1,759 miles I drove this year while covering Wisconsin football for Sconnie Sports Talk, I had plenty of time to think about how my past year with SST has impacted both my time at the University of Wisconsin and my future.

I joined Sconnie Sports Talk a year ago, beginning as a general contributor and moving to a Wisconsin football beat reporter and the assistant editor. I did not realize the impact the organization would have on me when I began, but after immersing myself into the sports journalism industry through coverage of Wisconsin football, I now see how my time at SST has helped me grow as a sports journalist and has given me confidence in myself and in my work.

In the past year, I have had the opportunity to be in the press box for every Badgers home football game, receive media access to College GameDay programs and cover road games, including the season opener at Lambeau Field and the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis. I have worked alongside talented professionals in the industry who I have the utmost respect for and have learned so much from. And as far as football seasons go, it was a heck of a year.

As I will be leaving for a study abroad program in Krakow, Poland and graduating this spring from UW-Madison, I must say my farewells to SST, but most importantly, I have to say thank you.

Thank you for choosing me to write for the organization and serve in a leadership role. To Zach Rosen, founder of SST, and Ari Brown, current editor-in-chief, thank you for all the advice and guidance you have given me this year. I am always impressed with the work you two have done to take a student blog and turn it into a credible and informative source of information on Wisconsin sports.

I also cannot thank enough my fantastic co-beat writer, Luke Schaetzel. It has been a pleasure covering Wisconsin football with you this past season—and surviving the Camp Randall press box during every ‘Jump Around.’ I believe our coverage of the 2016 season illustrated very well our ability to work together and complement each other in our writing.

Our constantly growing SST team is a testament to the excellent work being done in the organization. I am proud to work with such talented writers and photographers including Ari Baldassano, Alec Schmitz, Nick Osen and Eli Weiner. I am also grateful for the many brilliant sports journalists and broadcasters I have met and learned from while covering the football beat. Thank you to Jake Kocorowski of Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, the first person I met when I covered the season opener at Lambeau Field, to Erin Barney of Land of 10, and Mike (Jocko) Jacques of NBC 15, who never failed to drop by my seat in the press box (and who I also had the opportunity to work with as an NBC sports intern). Also thank you to the willing people who came to speak for SST this past fall: Jon Arias, Jim Paschke, Lance Veeser and Andy Katz.

Finally, a big thanks to the Badgers’ media staff for allowing SST the credentials to cover Wisconsin sports, and to the SST readers for reading my and all of our content.

Now, after the 1000+ miles of driving for Wisconsin football coverage, I will travel the 4,722 miles for my study abroad program and then graduate from UW Madison with a double major in journalism and Polish language. As I prepare for the next stage of my life, I am incredibly grateful for all I have learned and received through my time in SST.

Being both a full-time college student and a beat reporter for a Big Ten football program is both a blessing and a great privilege. I have loved sharing my content with SST readers and providing the best football coverage I was capable of during what turned out to be an exceptional season.

So until next time, thank you and On Wisconsin!