Royal Purple Staff Goodbyes: Matt Gardner

Wow. That is all I can say after four seemingly fast years of college.
Matt Gardner - Sports Editor
It still seems so surreal to say that I graduated college in four years. When I stepped onto campus for the first time, the thought of being a college grad never entered my mind.
I came into UW-Whitewater as a kid who didn’t really know a lot about myself and didn’t have much of a plan for my life.
Four years later, my life has changed. I know who I am. I know what I want to do in my life. And while I have so many reasons as to why I am a completely different person, I will only touch on a few in this goodbye letter.
As a freshman, I was a kid who lived it up. I was the person who went out at least three times a week. I didn’t put too much thought or effort into my school work.
It’s kind of funny thinking back on it, but my college career was changed when I started dating my first college girlfriend. She was the one who helped give me my motivation. I felt I had to be someone and do something with my life in order to deserve her.
I started writing for the paper my sophomore year, got my first 3.0 GPA and things have taken off from that point.
If there’s anyone who I have to thank for allowing me to become the journalist I am today, it is my former editor in chief Joe Luther. I can’t thank you enough Joe for taking a chance on a kid who didn’t know much about being a journalist, didn’t know much about writing and was still kind of a screw-around at that point. Not sure how to be the assistant to the Spotlight Editor, owe a lot of my college career to you Joe. If I hadn’t become a member of the Royal Purple staff as a junior, I’m not quite sure what I’d be doing right now.
I can’t even write another word in this letter without thanking my family for all they have done for me. You have been my rock whenever I needed something.
Mom and dad, you made my college career possible.
Dad, I remember some times as a kid where I wouldn’t see you for a couple straight days. I wondered as a little kid why you would work so much, but now I know.
You made life easy for me. I’m getting out of college with only $3,000 in loans to pay. All of that extra work was for my brothers and me.
And mom, you might think I’ve forgot about the many times you helped me out with homework when I was younger or the miniscule number of my athletic events you’ve missed (it’s very few).
I haven’t forgot. You have been exactly what a mother should be.
Dan and Bill, I love you guys. No homo. You’re man man quality all the way.
Last but not least, thank you Royal Purple. You’ve allowed me to explore the world of journalism, learn how to write in different styles and even try my hand at a sex column!
Just to let Chris Smith know, it’s not an advertisement. The Constant Gardner was just me doing something different and something a little risky. David Riske.
To every staff member who I’ve worked with, if I don’t already miss you, I will soon. Thanks to you all.
Looking back on it all, UW-Whitewater wasn’t even my first choice for college.
It was my afterthought. I applied here with the intent of using it as a last resort while I tried to make it into places I thought were more prestigious.
I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had went to college somewhere else.
Would I have become the same person I today? Would I have gained as many friends as I have here at UW-Whitewater?
The answer is no. Nothing can beat UW-Whitewater. I will be indebted to the university for the rest of my life.