Senior Column: DI taught me I can do anything

After a four-year career at The Daily Iowan, Pete Ruden looks back on what the DI has taught him.



Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

I remember being scared in first grade.

One afternoon, I walked in on my mom looking up information on stuttering on the website for the Stuttering Foundation of America.

I had just started stuttering for the first time. I was scared. I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know what to do.

While I have come to accept and embrace the way I talk as I’ve grown up, there has always been one last shred of fear in my mind. I just wanted to know I could get a job. I wanted to know I could live on my own and support myself. I wanted to know I’d be OK.

I’ve learned a lot of things throughout these last four years working at The Daily Iowan, but there’s one that’s more important than any of them: I can.

I proved to myself that I can do any job I want. Even the one I want the most.

My college career has been a dream come true for me. When I was in high school, I pictured being in the press box of Kinnick Stadium and being on press row in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

It’s wild to look back and think that I lived that life every week for the majority of my college career.

From a bowl game in San Diego to March Madness in Columbus and everything in between, I can say I’ve lived a dream.

To make it even better, I did it with some of my favorite people at my side.

That includes Adam Hensley. When I first met Adam, I knew we would become friends because of our shared love of Drake and basketball. I just never knew how good of friends we would become, nor did I know our trip to cover the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Bloomington, Indiana, my freshman year would change our friendship.

Now, we’re two-time DI Best Bromance winners, and I have a best friend for life.

Anna Kayser is pretty important, too, I guess.

When we took over the Pregame section this past football season, she was there for me whenever I needed her. Whether I needed to rant about something dumb or stay focused, she kept me in check. I can only hope I did the same for her.

The rest of the Force, Robert Read and Pete Mills, also provided some of the best coverage in my time at the DI. I never knew my decision to hire them as sports editors would turn out like it did, but I appreciate them for making me look smart.

I’ll miss messing around with Shivansh Ahuja in the photo corner and knowing we are losing brain cells with every SpongeBob reference we make.

I’ll miss explaining sports to Kayli Reese and making the dumbest jokes to Brooklyn Draisey for no reason (and reminding them that they are zero-time Best Bromance winners).

And I’ll miss working for my editors-in-chief, who have allowed the sports section to do its thing year in and year out.

It’s everyone. The DI wouldn’t be what it is without the people. I’ll miss covering games and interviewing players and coaches every week, but I’ll miss the people who have become some of my best friends just as much.

In short, I don’t know where I would be without The Daily Iowan.

If Bill Casey hadn’t taken a chance on me and Jason Brummond didn’t keep the faith, my life would be completely different.

Even when I didn’t really know what I was doing as a young freshman, these people stuck by my side. They allowed me to grow.

While I’ll always wish I had another bowl game to cover or another March Madness to travel to, I couldn’t imagine things happening in any other way.

The ending wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t what I wanted. But it put into perspective how incredible the rest of the last 3.75 years have been.

From covering men’s tennis and wrestling to working on the football, men’s basketball, and baseball beats, I couldn’t have asked for anything else.

This is all I ever wanted in a job. And because of it, I know I will be OK.