Senior Farewell: Juan Daniel Avila

Senior Farewell: Juan Daniel Avila

by Juan Daniel Avila, Senior Staff Writer

It’s 11:27 p.m. on a Thursday night. I have been working on my capstone project all day but only have about 500 words on my Google Doc. So, I thought to myself “you know what? I need a break – let’s get this farewell out of the way.” 

I turned on my LED lights, poured myself my favorite mixology beverage (I’m a bartender too), and I started playing Friday Night Lights by J. Cole as I wrote this intro. If you want to follow along I suggest you do the same. Don’t cheat and play the mixtape from the intro all the way till the end.

Before we continue, go ahead and click on my bio that I wrote when I first joined the DA. There’s an important piece of information that I kind of set into existence two years ago.

Let’s go on this trip. There’s going to be a lot of name-dropping from here on out.

Of course, I will talk about my favorite memories and all that at The DA. None of that would have been possible without the help of everyone I met along the way in The DA. Each person that I met and built a relationship with has a special place in my heart and has their own chapter in my book.. However, I have to start with the two people that put me on.

Sorry, if I am going against the inverted pyramid and all journalistic rules but at the end of the day this is the real me typing. 

I have to start with the first name, Trinity Bland. She and my tocyo Daniel Guerrero are the ones who pointed me in the right direction and opened the door for me to get into The DA. Now, how did I meet Trinity? Long story short, she was my student ambassador during the 2020 SDSU transfer student orientation. Was it a coincidence that she was my ambassador? I think not.

Anyway, she got me in contact with Daniel Guerrero and introduced me to the whole DA Sports team which included some of the greatest names. Kyle Betz, Luis Lopez, Amber Salas, Devin Whatley, and the list goes on. 

Each and every one of those people gave me advice on how to go about this whole journalism thing. During my first semester with The DA, I just sat down on the bench and watched these big names put in work from the sidelines. I observed and learned as much as I could from them. When coach Betz called me up to go on the field, I was ready to perform.

That day to perform came on Feb 24, 2021 when I wrote my first piece for The DA. K.B. gave me good feedback and from there on, to this day, he still gives me feedback on everything I ask him for help on. 

Each time after that day, all I would concentrate on was how to put out better material. It became an obsession. I would give it my all in everything I did but each time I put my work out I knew it could be better. Yet, I felt disconnected from my peers since we were all online. 

As soon as we went into in-person instruction, I made sure to connect with as many people as possible. That’s when I met some of those most talented hard-working people in The DA. But most importantly some of the people that I will never forget, from our editor in chief to all the editors and assistant editors, staff writers, and contributors. 

The whole DA Sports team –Jason and Finley you guys did a heck of a job guiding us! 

Marco, Lani, and D Ramirez; I will always remember our weekend covering the Men’s Basketball team in Vegas!

Then we have Mundo Azteca, where I met a peer, friend, and sister that I never knew I needed. Karina Bazarte, I can’t express how many times you forced me to be the best version of myself. I appreciate you for that. 

I will never forget the first time I met Karelly Vidro to practice our anchor scripts for The DA Live Broadcast. Little did I know that a tripod was going to cut my finger open that night, but lucky Karelly was there to help me out with that mess. I will forever be embarrassed by that but all I know is the next day we killed it and got the most views as an anchor team at The DA, until she broke that record by herself this year.

To the whole Mundo team, I’m proud of everything we did!

My goal as a first-generation student and DACA recipient was to leave some type of legacy behind at SDSU and I can happily say that I am proud of everything I did here and at The DA. I can say that I played my heart out till the whistle blew. 

Now, this is the interesting part. If you read my bio in the beginning and made it all the way until the end, I appreciate you. Did you guys read the part where I said I “hope to work for ESPN Deportes”?

Well, I hope you did because I am living proof that If you dream big, manifest, set goals for yourself, and work your soul off: dreams come true.

I am beyond excited to let everyone know that after graduation, I will be joining ESPN, The World Leader in Sports. 

The DA is in great hands with Gabriel Schneider and Xiomara Villarreal-Gerardo and the rest of the crew.

And for The Daily Aztec, this was Juan Daniel Avila.