Jack Walsworth: For this Chicago native, UDM a wise decision

Instead of writing a cliché what-I-did-this-summer column, I decided to take the more classic, and even more cliché, introduction route.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a junior English major with a minor in Multimedia Journalism here at the corner of McNichols and Livernois.

Some of you may recognize me as the guy who wears a Tigers hat and flannel shirts almost exclusively in the brutal winter months.

That being said, there is more to me than just my wardrobe.

I’m not from the Detroit area, or Michigan for that matter. I’m from the suburbs of Chicago.

Despite being raised in the shadows of the Windy City, I’m a big Detroit and University of Michigan sports fan. (Both my parents are Michigan natives; I didn’t have a choice.)

Growing up and throughout high school I was the only one in my group of friends who didn’t root for the once-great Bulls, the hopeless Cubs, the always-average Bears and the recently successful Blackhawks. So I’m used to being the “different” one, so to speak. 

When I decided on the University of Detroit Mercy, people back home thought I was crazy. Then when I finally arrived on campus, people I met thought I was crazy for leaving Chicago. Just one of those things, I guess.

So why did I, an English major of all things, pick UDM then, you ask?

Despite being asked that question nine times out of ten when I meet a fellow Titan, or any person honestly, I don’t always have an answer right away. Sometimes my answer is easier to explain, like right now.

UDM has offered me countless opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else in terms of diverse classes, support from professors and especially this paper, The Varsity News.

I’d like to think that I’ve taken advantage of said opportunities in the past two years and that I’ll continue to do so for the next two years. If it wasn’t for UDM, I wouldn’t have had the great experience of interning at the Cincinnati Enquirer this past summer and seeing what life in the newsroom is like first hand.

And that’s just one example.

I have several more UDM experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Other times, the answer has been harder to piece together.

There’s something about the city itself that drew me in.

Sure, the McNichols campus isn’t downtown, but there’s something to be said about attending college in a city that has the world’s attention.

Was I a sucker for falling in love with Detroit and its (possible) feel good comeback story?

Time will tell.

I very well may end up spending only four years of my life in the Detroit area, but I’m at peace with that because my four years here could end up coinciding with some of the city’s most important, and to me that’s pretty cool.

I don’t know what the future holds for the city, this academic year or even me – but that’s life.  As for the future of this paper, well, let’s just say I’m excited.

2014-2015 marks the 97th year of this student newspaper.

Despite our campus only being 74 acres, I believe that there are great stories – stories that actually matter and students want to read.

It’s my hope and goal that during this year and next that I will get those stories out to you.