Bring on the real world, responsibilities

I read a tweet a while back that said, “Graduating in four years is like leaving the bar at 10 p.m.,” and who am I to disagree with that bulletproof logic?

It took me six years to get to this point and outside of the student loan debt; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My situation was a little different. I had a son and got married during college so all of those responsibilities most people fear post-college don’t bother me because I’ve been dealing with them for a few years now.

So as I write this, I’m not an emotional wreck. I’m happy with the man I’ve become and excited to begin the new chapter in my life.

For the past two years, I’ve had one of the two best jobs at The Crimson White.

As sports or assistant sports editor, you’re allowed to travel the Southeast and cover the best college football team in America, all expenses paid. I’ve covered two national championships and arguably the best SEC Championship game ever. I’ve logged hours at countless sporting events and press conferences and filed hundreds of stories throughout the years.

Sadly, like all great runs, my time with The Crimson White has come to an end.

The Crimson White wasn’t my life. I used The Crimson White as a foundation to create better opportunities. With the foundation in place, I branched out and was fortunate enough to be published in some very respectable news outlets. My experience at The Crimson White helped me get an internship with the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa News, helped me get published in the New York Times (how crazy is that?), and ultimately landed me an internship with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a job with the Anniston Star as its Alabama beat writer after graduation.

There are so many people I have to thank. For starters, I have to thank my wife, Emily. You rescued me from the bad path I was heading down and helped me refocus on my goals. I wouldn’t be in this position without you. You’re half the reason I work so hard, with the other half being our precious baby boy, Myles. I live to make you two proud.

To Keri Potts (ESPN), Izzy Gould (al.com), Tom Arenberg (al.com), Tommy Deas (Tuscaloosa News), Andrew Gribble (al.com), Connor Ennis (New York Times) and Steve Reddicliffe (New York Times), each of you gave me advice that I will keep throughout my career and I appreciate you all for being there when some professionals would have pushed me away.

To Will Tucker, Ashley Chaffin, Victor Luckerson and Jon Reed, thank you for seeing something in me and giving me the opportunity to be an editor. I’ll never forget #CWinNOLA. Jason Galloway, thank you for giving me my first story and hiring me as a sports reporter. You got the ball rolling for me.

Last but certainly not least, I have to thank Zac Al-Khateeb, Marc Torrence and everyone who worked under me. To Zac, thank you for sticking around and for being available whenever I called.

To Torrence, we had one hell of a run. We really were a great one-two punch, and I think that really showed with our coverage in Miami. I’ll never forget the time we got a fist bump from Pat Forde while drinking a couple of cold ones. I hope you learned as much from me as I did from you.

My time at UA has been great and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world.

Marquavius Burnett was the sports editor of The Crimson White during the 2012-2013 year.

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