Achieve your goals and surpass your fears

Sports Editor Dustin Pollard

The first day of school is standard — the professor asks the class what their majors are and what they plan to do after graduation.

My response is simple: I want to write for ESPN, be a rapper and marry Shakira.

Some of the class thinks it is funny and the rest just think I am crazy, or both.

And maybe I am crazy. But is it crazy to think a guy who was cut from his varsity basketball team his tenth grade year would go on to be the greatest to ever play the game? That is what Michael Jordan did.

That was Jordan’s dream, and he chased it. Now I am trying to chase mine.

I love writing and talking about sports, I love spitting rhymes on stage and Shakira’s hips don’t lie.

But my second semester of my freshman year here at UNA, I almost gave up on my goal.

A few people said it was ludicrous for me to think I could be on ESPN. I also did not have the time to rap anymore because of school and work, so I stopped recording.

I worked at McDonald’s during this time, and my manager, who majored in journalism, told me I should choose another major and career path because I would never make any money in journalism.

So I changed my major and gave up on what I have wanted to do since middle school.

In the same time frame I was still struggling with the fact my father was still in prison, my brother was back in jail and my mom moved to Baltimore.

I am not a believer in the blame game, but I could not help but think: well if this is not going well, what makes me think my crazy ambition will?

Luckily, when I first went to visit my mom in Baltimore, I went to an Orioles game and got the chance to tour the press box before the game.

There I met a few baseball writers, the radio broadcasters for the game and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer.

At that moment I found out what I already knew — I wanted to cover sports.

Life is not always sunshine and rainbows, so keep moving forward and do not let doubt creep into the mind.

I want every student to stay focused on his or her goal and remember why he or she wanted it in the first place.

Who knows, maybe I will be on ESPN’s First Take talking NBA with Stephen A. Smith or maybe I will be featured in a Kendrick Lamar song one day. And maybe, thanks to my wife I will be able to speak Spanish fluently.

Michael Jordan said it best: “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”