I remember the last few days of high school pretty well. Although I didn’t much care for those four years of my life, there was a distinct sadness in leaving, because it was the first time I had ever had to leave anything: home, my friends, my dog, my comfort zone. I did not want to start something new. If only I
had known …
… I’d make surprisingly good grades, I’d make horrendously bad grades, I’d join the school newspaper, I’d write things that made people think, I’d figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I’d spend hours debating if that was the right decision, I’d get in trouble with my friends, I’d truly figure out why people hated the 11 a.m. kick at the Texas-OU game, I’d make mistakes, I’d learn from them, I’d disappoint myself, I’d do myself proud.
I’d hug my parents goodbye and take a 6 a.m. flight to New York City on the biggest adventure of my life, I’d spend a summer in the basement of my girlfriend’s parents’ house in Denver. I’d watch Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in their rookie year, I’d get cussed out by Albert Pujols, I’d hit on 16 in Las Vegas with my best friends, I’d drive 14 hours to Omaha to cover the College World Series.
I’d interview Darrell Royal, Kevin Durant, Vince Young and Ricky Williams. I’d be there when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were drafted and shake Lawrence Taylor’s hand on Fifth Avenue. I’d witness the dawn of Linsanity and watch Derek Jeter hit an inside-out single to right field. I’d play basketball at Rucker Park and ski the Rocky Mountains. I’d catch John Legend at Austin City Limits and then see him three years later in the bathroom of a Manhattan bar and tell him how good he was.
I’d walk past my grandfather’s open casket and wonder what the point was, if we’d just end up buried in dirt at the end of it. I’d watch my father give the eulogy and I’d hold my sister’s trembling hand, and then I’d realize that this is actually pretty beautiful. I’d learn what it was like to be broke and I’d see how nice it was to make gobs of money, and then I’d realize I was stupid to spend all of it on Sixth Street. I’d play 2K late into the night with Eddie and finish second to Kristen every single time in Mario Kart — she’s Yoshi, I’m Koopa Troopa. I’d dance to Jay-Z with Hank, from the nosebleeds, and I’d drive to San Antonio with Kyle and Todd (and technically with Hank, too) for Mama Margie’s at 4 a.m. I’d watch Nick chunk apples into building walls and plop them into hot tubs. I’d drive to San Antonio with Kristen to watch the Spurs play the Heat on a pretty penny, and pull into the parking lot and learn LeBron and D-Wade weren’t playing. I’d watch David Ash thread the needle from the stands in Stillwater, Okla.
I’d broaden my horizons and learn that everything I was taught was not necessarily right. I’d make friends with people from all walks of life. I’d stop judging them the way I did in high school.
I’d cover the Texas football, basketball and baseball teams, and learn that press box food was not good for your figure. I’d be pumped up by awards and then humbled by typos and inaccuracies. I’d stand on a bench and defend myself in front of protesters. I’d protest, too, but mostly about the Longhorn Network. I’d gulp down Shiner pitchers purchased by Doug at Hole in the Wall and I’d sneak Christian into bars in Dallas. I’d figure out I was no good at basketball, but thanks to everybody at Gregory who put up with me, anyway.
I’d spend a day with Julius Whittier, the first African-American football player in school history, and we’d go to football practice together. I’d get pizza with Garrett Gilbert, and ask him about his failures as a quarterback (cue the high school version of me, punching a hole through the wall). I’d spend weekends at Disch Falk-Field, listening to Augie Garrido talk about the human spirit. I’d play intramural softball, and stand in the outfield as our former sports editor (requisite Dan Hurwitz shout-out) gave up 22 runs in one inning. I’d see pitching nearly as bad covering the Colorado Rockies a year later. I’d go to Big 12 Media Days with Nick and Sameer, and we’d ask Robert Griffin III about his chances of winning the Heisman that fall, and then we’d watch him win the Heisman.
I’d get a new dog, and a cat.
I’d grow up, become independent and assume I knew everything. I’d fall down and have to ask
I’d turn 21 and then I’d turn 22 and then oh man, I’m getting old.
There was nothing to worry about. It’s been a wonderful ride, even if it did go way too fast. Texas forever.
Trey Scott started working at The Daily Texan in fall 2010 as a sports staff writer. He has been sports editor, associate managing editor and is now the managing editor. He encourages all of you to keep searching for the perfect lede.