Like many, UW-Milwaukee was not my first choice. I applied to Minnesota, LSU, and Milwaukee. And I only got accepted to Milwaukee. I wasn’t mad about it. I have lived on the East Side for most of my life. I know this neighborhood better than anyone. So it was ok.
I’m just here to share some of my thoughts from my five years here. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of great people. And some not so great people. Like my roommate freshman year. Dude was shadier than a forest and brought the cops to our room multiple times. He stole from some other dorm, he was in possession of some stolen merchandise his brother apparently stole, and he got into a fistfight with his ex girlfriend at 2 am outside our dorm. Real charmer. Plus this was all in the first year that Cambridge Commons had opened. It wasn’t a fun year.
The main thing college taught me is to be true to me. Don’t hide who you are because you want to impress others. Most of the friends I have made in college will say that they hated me at first. My friend Tay, who was my boss when I worked on paint crew for University Housing, stated that she wanted to murder me the first few weeks. Eventually I grow on people, I’m not sure.
Now some of you may know me, I am the guy who makes snarky comments on UWM facebook pages. Or you may know me as the sports writer for the Post. A lot of you probably don’t like me. And I am OK with that. People call me a jerk, but I accept that. I just don’t believe in holding back an opinion. Being honest with everyone is something I take great pride in. I rarely sugarcoat something. If something is great, I say it’s great and vice-versa if it’s awful.
I’ve done so many great things at this school. Mostly for the UWM Post. I have covered an NCAA tournament, which was me and three colleagues driving through the night to Buffalo. I was so excited and nervous that I could not sleep. Pretty sure I was awake for two straight days.
This past spring I flew to Arizona to cover UWM baseball playing the Brewers. That was an adventure because I had to film all my own highlights and carrying about 50 pounds worth of stuff everywhere. I feel like a lot of people need to do this. Take charge and make something of yourself when in college. It helps your resume and makes you feel good.
As for the future of UWM, I don’t see much happening. The new student union won’t be built until 2022. I don’t see an on-campus basketball arena being built ever. Also this campus needs to embrace our drunk, ratchet culture. The school needs to stop saying drinking is bad and making us all try to get rid of it. While the school can’t embrace a massive drinking culture, just turn a blind eye to it. How they can really do this is to bring it to athletics games. Get drunk and become the worlds greatest student section. Hell, being drunk would at least make any athletics event bearable. For non-soccer fans, become drunk soccer hooligans. You think you get drunk at baseball games? English soccer hooligans make you look like the amateur freshman who passed out after two shots.
But be civil. Don’t be the d-bag walking down Maryland screaming at your friends. Don’t be the asshole in the bar yelling at the bartender because they won’t give you cheaper drinks. And most of all, don’t start fights or hit on girls who aren’t interested. You have no idea how many times I have had to help carry some drunk guy away because he started a fight when he got too plastered. You just make yourself look like an idiot.
There won’t be much I will miss about UWM. I won’t miss the constant political debates that just turned into childish arguments. I won’t miss the annoying bro-types who walk slowly down the middle of a hallway. I definitely won’t miss the overpriced beer at the Gasthaus.
However there will be things I will miss most. I will miss the free bus pass. I will miss sandwiches from the Kenwood Inn. I will miss sitting in Spaights Plaza people watching on a sunny day. Of course I will miss calzone night at the Black Rose. (This is my shout out to the Rose. They are the best bar in the neighborhood. They may not have an all you can drink special, but they have the best bartenders and best food deals.)
But here are some of my shout outs after my college career.
- Shout to Mark Zoromski, the greatest journalism teacher I’ve had. He taught me important rules about what news is and how to tell a story. It’s about the people.
- To Chris Terry, who taught me about the bigger picture of media and news. I owe him a lot, especially since I lost two bets to him about sports.
- To Tony Atkins, my predecessor and mentor at the UWM Post. He has kept me on the right path and always gives great advice.
- To Joe Halley, my successor and underling assistant at the Post. You’ve produced some great work for me and I am proud to have worked with you.
- To the rest of my Posties, you all were so great to work with and we worked back from stopping printing, to now printing again.
- To Qdoba, Noodles and Co, and American Euros/Wrights Burgers and Wings on Oakland, for making sure I had my comfort food.
- To Tay, Mitch, Chloe, Alyssa, Bri, Steph, Benji, and the rest of my paint crew gang, you all brought me into a social life and showed me how to have fun. I love you all.
- To Chris Zills, Kevin O’Connor, Tim Prahl, Bill Behrns, and Amanda Braun; you all were truly professional and wonderful people to work with while covering UWM Athletics.
- Finally to Nate Burks, my best friend who has been with me since high school and we made UWM into our home. This all would have sucked if we did not have each other.
In case you all still hate me, feel free to tweet at me ( @joehorning_ ) or find me at your local bar enjoying a beer.