"How do you do it, House?"
This week I had someone come up to me after one of my college classes. They smiled, gave me a fist bump, and said, "House, how do you do it?" I looked at them and said, "what do you mean?" They responded, "you are covering all these sports teams, work your tail off in the classroom, and still come to class every day with so much energy. You are so prepared, too. I respect you so much, man. I really look up to you."
Those words meant so much to me. I honestly was caught off guard because it was so kind. Being a positive influence in someone's life is something I take pride in, especially with young kids.
At first, I didn't really know what to say. I'm just wired differently when it comes to how I approach things. Every day is a new challenge and I don't waste the chance to be the best version of myself. There are days where my head is spinning, but I always work my way through it. I give maximum effort during the school day and then get to live my passion in the evening by covering a sporting event or being on a podcast. Every little moment of free time is dedicated to sports. That's the rewarding part! I know it's not the typical experience for a 21-year-old student and I'm thankful. The stage has been set by so much hard work.
When I was asked the above question, I first thanked the person, and responded, "time management and loving what I do. I put so much energy into this because I love it. I'm 100% House"
Everyone thinks I'm constantly all about sports. Well, if you get to know me, you know there is more to me than that. It's been the case since I started sports writing five years ago. Other past blog posts have touched on it.
One side has been my love for learning. I genuinely have developed a love for academics and pushing myself to think outside the box. Looking back, I've grown so much over the past two years of college. I'm not satisfied with just going through the motions. At times, between academics and my sports writing career, I don't have much free time left over. It's challenging, but I know what my goals are and try to find a balance. It seems like the free time always turns into something sports related, which really illustrates how much of a passion it is. Last weekend, I worked five sporting events in two days and did homework in between, but there's nothing I'd rather be doing. As a little kid, I could only dream of something like this: interviewing players, writing articles and learning at a Big Ten University. I don't take it for granted.
I've recently spent so much time thinking about how far my college journey has taken me. There are so many things I've been exposed to because I've been in Minneapolis at a Big Ten University. When I first moved into college, I had no idea what to expect. However, it's changed me as a person in so many ways. It's opened doors and connected me with some pretty cool people that I respect so much. Professors, classmates, sports writing/radio mentors, and life-long friends that are part of my life every day. Anyone who watched me grow up, knows this is totally what I live for - sports and building relationships.
Through taking a wide range of courses, I've opened my mind to thinking about things in different ways. This semester, I decided to take classes with more philosophical concepts and it has me thinking in a new ways. There have been so many days where the readings are dense and I'm ready to pull my hair out, but I love challenges. Give me a book, an odd sports story to write, or a random test, and I'll put everything I have into it. There are so many people who want to take the easy road, but that's the wrong approach. The University of Minnesota has some of the best faculty in the entire world. Sitting in a lecture hall and listening to professors talk about philosophers and how their theories have evolved over time, is really boring to many. It certainly can be, but you just have to dig in and apply yourself. Your educational experience is what you make it.
I've been trying to develop my critical thinking skills to become more diverse as a person. Yeah, I know that's sounds really nerdy. I took philosophy, a leadership course, and an American Divide class to broaden my knowledge base. Many nights I will be reading books or writing long papers, but I find it very rewarding. I'm working with other people and developing an idea of what life is like across disciplines.
Ever since I can remember, I've always had such a strong passion for learning. There is just some crazy feeling I get when an idea clicks in my mind and I can apply it. I can't describe the energy and work ethic that activates when I'm given a task. It's just natural and trained into my brain. I truly don't know anything different. Growing up, I watched people around me work and followed their lead.
This week, I was working on a paper that involved a variety of philosophical arguments. I was grappling with how to incorporate some ideological concepts into this paper. The professor and I talked for over 45 minutes, bouncing ideas off one another. We were up on the 12th floor looking down at the East Bank campus. I just couldn't help but pause and think about how lucky I am. I get to personally learn from an expert at the University of Minnesota and he's taking the time to shape my life. Those are the moments I live for. I'm not intimidated by their title or academic knowledge. They are ordinary people in every sense. The conversation ended with the professor shaking my hand and saying, "I appreciate you, Dan. Kids like you make this so rewarding."
I responded, "that's just me, prof, 100% all day, every day. I love this place and the opportunity to have conversations like this."
Those are the moments I live for - taking advantage of opportunities. Every chance I have to do something unique, I'm going to run with it and put all of my energy into it. I'll only get to be a college student once, so why not give it my all? I like to think it's how I've been able to get a taste of my sports passion at such a young age. Like Herb Brooks once said, "great moments are born from great opportunity."
So how is this going to help me when I reach my end goal of working in sports?
Well, aside from impressing the ladies with your philosophical words, jokes, and/or puns, it may not be used much! A philosopher's ideas will rarely be used in sports articles, but my brain will be trained to think differently. I will have the critical thinking skills and problem solving brain needed to be innovative. I also will know how to balance time by taking a 16-credit class load and covering three sports teams. My experience in a leadership course is also helping me develop team skills and additional emotional intelligence. My mind is always working and I'm putting in the time because I love it. Sports, learning, and relationships mean everything to me.
So, you ask, how do I do it?
I have a passion and dream! I'm the genuine, authentic, 100% version of Daniel House every day. That's something that will never change!