Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Hard work is the key to success

So, here we are. You know, I’ve wondered for quite some time what I would write about when it came time for me to write this – my final column for The Crimson White.

It’s funny. Now that I’m actually sitting here writing my final piece, all I can think about is the first time I ever wrote for this newspaper. I was a freshman, scared half to death that whatever story I turned in would be terrible, resulting in me having to change my major and rethink my life choices.

Well, I wrote that first piece – a story about the rugby club – and I’m still here, about to graduate with the same journalism degree I registered for four years ago. In retrospect, that story was pretty terrible (my apologies to that year’s rugby team). But, it was also the first journalistic piece I’d ever written and a source of immense pride at the time. God knows I remember it with fondness.

Thinking back, I remember how I thought – perhaps naïvely – I would make history here at my beloved university, that I’d blaze a trail so hot that no one could ever hope to follow in my footsteps.

I don’t think I’ve made quite the mark I thought I would, but I’m still happy with everything I’ve accomplished in the time between that first piece and this one. As someone who greatly appreciates the power of the written word, I guess that means I’ve done something worthwhile here at the CW.

As an aspiring sports writer, sports fan and someone who reported on Alabama athletics over the last few years, I realize I’ve been exposed to what is possibly the best sports atmosphere anyone could ever hope to be around.

After all, how many people can say they were enrolled in school during one of the single greatest eras of collegiate athletics? Three national championships in football. Two in gymnastics. One in softball. Another in women’s golf. A laundry list of All-Americans, a bevy of national awards winners and one of the best groups of sports fans I’ve ever laid eyes on.

When you step back and look at it, it’s a pretty amazing spectacle to behold. I’m glad I was here to witness it. But, much like the athletic competition I’ve reported on for the last four years, I’ve found that to be successful, you’re going to have to work for it.

For me, that involved writing, rewriting and writing again until I finally came up with a written voice all my own: the one you’re reading right now. I wish I could say it was easy, but it wasn’t. It took a lot of studying, writing and practice before I could be happy with my work.

Of course, I’d be remiss to suggest everything I learned or accomplished was by my own doing. There are certainly a lot of people that need to be thanked. For one, I’d like to thank all my sports editors – Jason Galloway, Tony Tsoukalas and Marq Burnett – who’ve provided me with more help and opportunities than I thought I’d ever receive.

I’d also like to express my appreciation for everyone in the sports staff this year. It’s been a pleasure working with all of you, and you’ve certainly made budget meetings much more enjoyable than they otherwise would have been.

Lastly, I’d like to thank you, the reader. I’ve received a lot of feedback about what I’ve written over the years, and it still surprises me to hear that people actually enjoy my work. It’s done nothing but boost my ego, but I’m still greatly appreciative.

Before I finish, I have one piece of advice for you. If you’re afraid you don’t have enough knowledge, then study. If you think you don’t have enough experience, then go out and get it. And if you think life is too tough to be successful, then do whatever you need to do to make yourself larger than life.

And that’s it. Once again, it’s truly been a blessing to work for the CW. It’s been fun, but it’s time I started blazing my trail elsewhere. Thank you for everything, and Roll Tide.

Zac Al-Khateeb was a staff reporter for The Crimson White during the 2012-2013 year.


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