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Column: The pandemic’s impact on the life of an Ohio State student

I was really excited to begin my sports broadcasting endeavors at OSU this past year, but the pandemic disrupted my plans just a tad...

Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch via USA TODAY NETWORK

Hi! Let me introduce myself. I have been writing for Land Grant for over a month now, but I have not yet written about a wonderful topic — myself! Just kidding (mostly). Anyway, my name is Megan Husslein, and I am a rising sophomore at The Ohio State University. I am majoring in journalism, with a double minor in TV Production & Analysis and Spanish. In the future, I plan to be an anchor for ESPN or the Clubhouse Reporter for the New York Yankees (my dad is from New York, so I’m a huge fan). I was really excited to start my sports broadcasting career at OSU this past fall, but the pandemic threw a bit of a wrench into my plans.

First, I want to start off by stating how thankful I am to be a student at Ohio State. It’s a great school for aspiring sports broadcasters because, well, we’ve got a ton of really good sports to cover! It’s no secret that the Buckeyes are highly competitive in the majority of their athletic programs, therefore, there are so many great opportunities to cover these teams.

Even before I got to OSU, I had the inside scoop as to where I should look to get experience once I stepped foot on campus. A friend who is a few years older than me, who — at the time — was on the same career path as me (thanks, Ryan!) pointed me in the right direction of what to get involved in.

One of these opportunities is the Big Ten Student Network. It’s widely known by my friends and family that I am Justin Fields’ No. 1 fan, so I was really hoping to be on the sidelines this past year, which is exactly what Student U offers. Students have the opportunities to operate cameras and call games, and most importantly, go to every single game.

Unfortunately this year, there were no internships offered due to the pandemic this year. However, that didn’t stop me from getting involved with sporting events and gaining experience, in other ways.

My first semester I did some freelance work with The Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper. I learned from the best student sports directors out there — shoutout Kevin and Curtis — how to produce, film, and edit videos. I ended up making three videos (I did not realize how much time goes into making just one) and I got to write a feature as well. It was a great experience — definitely one of the highlights of my first semester.

By the time second semester rolled around, I was going stir-crazy not having gone to any sporting events in about a year. I knew I wanted to learn how to commentate games, too, so I got involved with Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio, which is a student-run organization that calls many of the sporting events at OSU. I was extremely grateful to be able to call three women’s basketball games, and my personal favorite, a baseball game.

Baseball is my favorite sport, and I played softball nearly my whole life, so after feeling a bit at sea after arriving at OSU, I finally felt like I was definitely in my element.

While I wish I could be in The Shoe for game days, in person for classes, and live a normal, pandemic-less life as a college student, I tried to make the best of my time this past year, both in terms of laying the foundation of my sports journalism career, and just being a college student. I made a great group of friends, did well in classes, and even went on a spring break trip. It was a typical college spring break; eight people + a one-bedroom AirBnB = an unforgettable experience.

Additionally, I did everything that I could to keep a foot in the sports broadcasting world. I made connections with everyone from ESPN anchors, talent managers, and play-by-play announcers to local TV and radio broadcasters.

I’ve gone from being an intern to a full-fledged contributor here at Land Grant, and I started my own Yankees blog — shameless self-promo, go check it out, yankeesclubhouse.blog —, and I plan on interning for the Columbus Clippers this summer as well!

So there you have it folks. That has been the life of a sports journalism student this past year at OSU. I am really looking forward to cheering alongside 105,000 faithful Buckeye fans this fall at the Shoe (hopefully on the sidelines with BTSN). I can’t wait to get deeper into my major classes and be more involved with The Lantern and SGSR. And of course, I’ll still be writing my weekly stories for LGHL!

While doing all of this, however, I really would love to be a normal college student. I want to see more than people’s eyes and foreheads, to see people outside of a computer screen, and be closer to people than six feet apart. I am praying for some normalcy this school year, with a lot more opportunities to meet people and do what I came to OSU to do. I am so excited for what the future holds, and I hope you will follow along with me!