Written by Kevin Morency '21
- ECGulls.com Contributor
BEVERLY, Mass. — My name is Kevin Morency and here are a few facts about me. I'm a junior at Endicott College. I'm pursuing an English degree with a concentration in Secondary Education. I'm a goalie-turned-midfielder on the men's lacrosse team. Oh, and I didn't even apply to Endicott College when I was looking at colleges to attend.
Don't get me wrong; that was a mistake. Yet, I believe it was an understandable one.
You see, I grew up just five minutes down the road. I'm a Beverly-born kid, through-and-through, and kids aren't supposed to go to the school that's near (or in) their hometown. Graduating 18-year-olds are supposed to use college as a chance to fly away from The Nest, find their independence, and branch out into a new world. It didn't matter that I loved Beverly. It didn't matter that I grew up viewing Endicott athletes with a sense of awe. The fact of the matter was that Endicott's campus sat within the city limits I had spent my whole life in and that was too much to overcome. It wasn't that I didn't want to go to Endicott. It was, simply, that I couldn't go to Endicott.
As a result, I ended up at college in Rhode Island in the fall of 2017. Here's a secret; I didn't like it there. I'll save that story for another time, but I will wrap up my experience there with one simple statement. Living in a place that I didn't feel comfortable in showed me exactly where I wanted to be: Endicott College. The location of Endicott's campus no longer mattered. Although, the beaches were a nice touch. What really mattered were all of the opportunities embedded within that campus. Most importantly, I saw Endicott as the place where I could follow all of my passions. So, I took the leap. I did what you're never supposed to do. After one semester of college, I packed my bags and I headed home to Endicott College.
It was one of the best decisions of my life.
When I came to Endicott, I had two main priorities. I wanted to become a high school English teacher and I wanted to play lacrosse. It turns out that this has been the best place for those goals to develop. Rather than choosing between studying my subject, English, or studying educational practices, Endicott gave me the opportunity to study English with a concentration in Secondary Education. This has allowed me to expand my knowledge in the world of literature and improve my writing, while simultaneously learning the ins-and-outs of life as a teacher.
At the same time, I was given the opportunity to walk on to the Endicott men's lacrosse team when I transferred in. After a few days of practicing with the team, Coach Hagarty '10 M'11 decided to take a chance on me and offered me a roster spot. Even with only two seasons under my belt, I can safely say that playing lacrosse at Endicott has changed my life for the better. I grew up an athlete and when I graduated high school, I never thought I'd be on a team again. Now, I've got a new family of lifelong brothers, along with a boatload of memories and life lessons that'll stick with me far longer than my four years here.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM AND LACROSSE FIELD
Yet, my success at Endicott doesn't just lie within teaching English and playing lacrosse. It lies in the fact that I've been enabled to pursue a multitude of different interests and passions that exist off the field and outside the classroom. Students are not one-dimensional paying customers. We are human beings with different interests, talents, and experiences. Here at Endicott, I've felt encouraged to develop all aspects of who I am and what I want to do, rather than feeling pigeon-holed into my role as a student-athlete.
In addition to my status as a student-athlete at Endicott, I'm also a staff writer for a hip-hop website, DJBooth.net, a sports reporter for the Salem News, and an assistant coach for Beverly High School's football and lacrosse teams.
My position at DJBooth is one that has benefited me greatly from my experiences at Endicott. For those unfamiliar with the site, DJBooth is a well-respected online media outlet focused on hip-hop music that has been operating for over 16 years now and the site receives hundreds of thousands of unique interactions every month. During the fall semester alone, I've been published five times on the site, including my first-ever interview of a musician, a tribute piece memorializing the late Juice WRLD, and an end-of-decade look-back on J. Cole's career.
Going back in time for a moment, I grew up as an avid reader, I've always loved music, and I found out that I loved writing during my high school years. Naturally, then, I was drawn to DJBooth and I spent many hours reading the content that was posted on the site. This inspired me to try my hand at music writing during my junior year of high school and I never looked back. When DJBooth ran a story on a mysterious Frank Ocean piano cover album I had emailed them, it exploded and was picked up by big-name outlets like Complex, Genius, and The Fader. That's when Brian Zisook, DJBooth's co-founder and editor-in-chief, offered me the opportunity to join the team as an editorial intern during the spring of my senior year. It was a dream come true.
Fast forward to the present day and I'm now transitioning to a role as a regular writer for the site, rather than just an intern. In total, I've had eight articles published on DJBooth, along with three more staff pieces that I've contributed to and 48 news briefs I've pitched. Of those eight articles and three contributions, six articles and two contributions have been published while I've been at Endicott, and that's no coincidence.
Writing is a skill that will only get better with practice and Endicott has been a place where I've been able to constantly improve my abilities. As an English major, I've certainly benefited from a more literature-and-writing-based curriculum, but the development of communication and writing skills is an important focus across all majors at Endicott. This overarching goal to cultivate a student body able to express themselves clearly has undoubtedly made me a better writer and that has directly translated to my work in the classroom and for DJBooth. However, skill development, in my mind, is something that we should expect from all of our colleges.
THE ENDICOTT EXPERIENCE
What's truly allowed me to thrive at Endicott has been the encouragement and support that I've received from my professors, coaches, and peers. One of my education professors, Professor Luke Reynolds, emailed me about my Juice WRLD tribute, applauding the courage and openness of the article. An English professor, Sam Alexander, posted the link of an article I wrote to the Endicott English department Facebook page because he wanted to share my writing with others. My lacrosse coaches, Coach Hagarty, Coach Dean, Coach Martinelli, and Coach Morris, constantly interact with my writing, oftentimes asking me what I'm going to write about next or engaging in conversations about music they enjoy listening to. My friends and teammates, too, will message me with words of encouragement, relaying that they took the time to read my work and that they enjoyed it.
These interactions push me to do better. They inspire me to keep writing. The community at Endicott College creates an environment that encourages success and that's what has enabled me to chase after so many things that I'm passionate about.
The past two falls, I've been an assistant coach for the Beverly High School football team. There hasn't been one Monday lift where Endicott's head strength and conditioning coach, Jack Dustin, has forgotten to ask me how the team did over the weekend and, for both seasons, my academic advisor, Dr. Gabrielle Watling, has helped me create a course schedule that allows me to attend afternoon practices.
At the Salem News, I've been able to interview two different Endicott student-athletes, Evan Couchot, and Mady Hentosh, and write stories on them, as well as write a story on our athletic department's acceptance and support of the Kartwheels4Kids challenge that had started at Beverly High. In all cases, ECGulls always helped with the stories and posted them to their website and social media accounts when they were published.
The Endicott community is just different. Everyone genuinely enjoys helping and supporting others.
When I was asked to write this piece by Shawn Medeiros, the brain behind ECGulls, I was at first confused and hesitant. Not only do I dislike drawing attention to myself, but I'm also a walk-on transfer who has appeared in only one collegiate lacrosse game ever. Why does my story matter? Well, as I'm wrapping all of this up, I think my story matters because it's also Endicott's story. It's the story of all that Endicott has to offer outside of being a student or student-athlete. While enrolled at Endicott College, I've been able to pursue an English degree, a teaching license, play lacrosse at the college level for a highly competitive team, become a staff writer for a music website, become a sports reporter for the area newspaper, and volunteer time as a high school football and lacrosse coach.
If it were someone else writing this article instead of me, then the details would be different but the story would remain the same; Endicott is a place where opportunities are found, success is encouraged, and people care.