Senior Farewell: Joshua Shaw

Joshua Shaw, Sports Editor

Lately, I’ve been asking myself, “What if…?”  


It shouldn’t come as a shock. These sorts of questions always arise when one races towards a conclusion.  


For me, the biggest is, “what if I had come to UNH sooner?” For those unaware, presumably, everyone reading this, I did not start my collegiate career here at UNH.  


My first two years of college were spent at a community college. During that first year, I wanted to be a teacher. Then I spent 40 hours in a third-grade classroom. Long story short, that summer, I leaped over to Liberal Arts, but I knew it was a steppingstone to journalism.  


I spent my junior year, my first at UNH, learning the fundamentals of journalism. The principles, ethos, and techniques. Leads, nutgrafs, inverted pyramids. Somewhere during that spring, I wrote a story. One good enough to catch the eyes of those in charge. Shortly after its publication, I was asked if I wanted to be a sportswriter in the fall.   


I accepted and spent that summer daydreaming about it all. Reality quickly surpassed all of those dreams. I fell in love with everything. The craft, the people, the intensity, the challenge of assembling a puzzle from a game.  


Those summer daydreams had come true. And yet, as I languished in this love, my brain told me it’d be a brief love affair. I was a senior. After 150 days or so, this would all be over.   


These questions of what if have occurred more and more as we reach the end of the year. What if I had come here first instead of that community college? What if I’d pursued journalism from the jump instead of the idea of education? Would I have worked here longer than this year? Would I have spent the last four years with all of you instead of just this one?  


Sometimes thinking about this question sparks regret in me.   


Then I remember there are no guarantees in revision. If I hadn’t taken this exact path, maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now. Maybe I wouldn’t have written that article or met the people I’ve come to cherish.  


One of those is Cam Beall. Without Cam, I wouldn’t be writing this or any other articles this year. Cam is the person who offered me a chance, and for that, I’m forever grateful. Without Cam, I wouldn’t have learned what it takes to be a journalist. The work, the effort, and the dedication he’s poured into this paper inspired me to try and match it.  


If I didn’t know Cam, I wouldn’t be able to call him my friend. And that alone quiets the thought of what if.  


If that thought doesn’t quell these questions, I’m reminded if not for this path, I wouldn’t have reunited with Brackett Lyons.  


Not many people know this, but I watched Brackett die twice. Granted, both “deaths” were school projects for German class, but hey.  


Jokes aside, at the worst moment of my life, Brackett said if he could help me even the slightest bit better or help, he’d be there. I never took him up on that offer. I probably should’ve. But I can say that Brackett gave me everything when he helped get me this position. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.  


Cam, Brackett, wherever I go from here, know it wouldn’t be possible without your kindness, help, and friendship. There’s no one else I would’ve rather called Mr. Editor.  


So sure, what-if crosses my mind. Then I remind myself of what’s been. And that makes all the difference.  


P.S. Thanks, Mom and Dad.