‘They cleaned me up and outfitted me with the tools I needed to thrive in this world’

When all my friends went off to Harvard, Columbia and Yale — I was being shipped off to Kentucky. Little did I know I would be receiving just as much out of my education experience as they did. My time on the WKU Forensics Team was both academically rigorous and personally challenging —but I wouldn’t change a bit of it. 

No other organization offers such a focus on personal development and growth like WKU Forensics. Unlike most college kids, I spent my weekends in a suit and tie at 5 a.m. and spent my nights researching and writing for fun. As the first person to graduate high school in my family, I didn’t come from affluent or well-educated people, but Forensics didn’t care about that. They cleaned me up and outfitted me with the tools I needed to thrive in this world, but most importantly, they showed me how to articulate myself — a skill I will carry forever. 

Our staff of coaches pushed me to be better both inside and outside of the team, but they also were a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. They sat me down for meetings when they were worried about my personal happiness, and they were always interested in what I was doing outside of the Forensics office. Just like the coaches, my team members were also heavily connected to one another. They were my running and work-out buddies, they were note takers when I missed class because of conferences, and they were in the hospital with me at 3 a.m. when I needed them. Over my four years on the team, we won a lot of trophies, and several national championships, but that is not what I will remember the most. I will remember the deep talks we had, the amazing performances they gave, and the joy I got watching each of them grow.

Ultimately, what I got out of WKU Forensics, I could not have gotten out of a college experience alone. Now as this chapter of my life comes to a close, I realize that I will miss it greatly. 

I competed in forensics in college, high school, middle school and elementary school, for a grand total of 10 years. As a 21-year-old, that’s nearly half of my life. It’s a weird feeling that I will try to capture with words here: My forensics career is not ending. The very word “forensics” means “to find the truth,” which I will always be doing in some capacity. The only difference is that I will be doing that in the real world, which I am unbelievably excited for. Thank you for all that you have given me, Forensics.