Advice for freshman

Jake is the Program Manager of Digital Content for CBS Sports Radio. He hosts a weekly CBS podcast “Brown and Troupe” on CBSLocalSports.com, Play.it, and iTunes with former NFL and University of Florida All-American tight end Ben Troupe. He also hosts SportsTalk1240 on AM1240-WGBB in New York. Jake is a Sports Columnist for CBSSportsRadio.com. JB writes for CBS Local, and covers New York sports for SportsTalk1240.com. He also produces MetsBlog.com’s Mets On The Air, a weekly podcast on the New York Mets.

Transitioning from high school to college is a major leap. Everything changes. Your mom isn’t packing your lunch anymore, or giving you money to go out with your friend, or doing your laundry, or cleaning up for you. It’s an entirely different lifestyle. The adjustment is vast and something that hits you faster than you would think.

I graduated from Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, North Carolina. I am originally from Little Neck in Queens, New York before living in Trumbull, Connecticut for 10 years. I moved to NC for my senior year of high school. I always had my hopes set on returning to NY and going to Hofstra University in Hempstead. The campus was beautiful, the location being close to New York City was awesome, and they had one of the top broadcasting programs in the country. I knew leaving home would be tough, though. We become so reliant on our parents for everything that going out on my own was going to be a challenge. It was a challenge that I was ready for and that I needed. I needed to find myself and being separated from family would be the best way to experience things I may never get to do again.

I loved college. Freshman year was incredible. From the parties to the ladies to being free, it was an experience you won’t forget. There were stories and memories that last a lifetime. The issue for many though is that they let their freshman year happen four consecutive years. When that happens, to be honest, you’re in some trouble. I totally regret not taking full advantage of my first two years of college and establishing myself more in what I wanted to do. I waited until junior year to kick my butt into gear and eventually get into the radio station on campus for my senior year. I started writing for a New York sports site, which would eventually give me the opportunity to host a sports talk radio show in Long Island. I did a couple of internships. I continued to write and broadcast and make my resume as versatile as possible.

I was ambitious, hard working, and ready to succeed. It took me after my sophomore year to get to that point, though. I am currently the Program Manager of all digital content for CBS Sports Radio. I also host a sports podcast on CBS Local Sports and Play.it titled Brown and Troupe with former NFL player Ben Troupe. I also write a weekly column for CBSSportsRadio.com and also contribute articles to CBS Local sites around the country. I’m also a producer for a SNY.tv Mets podcast. I also host a sports talk radio show called SportsTalk1240 on AM1240-WGBB in Long Island and write and cover games for SportsTalk1240.com. I put together an impressive resume that has opened the eyes of many and given me opportunities I could have only dreamed of when I got to Hofstra. That is with me beginning my junior year. Imagine where I could be if I started working hard my freshman year.

My advice really is to establish yourself early. Find your niche early. Learn what you love. Don’t be the guy or girl who is still trying to figure out what they want to do in their junior or senior year. Figure that out your freshman year and get to it. I’ve been blessed with the chances I have had because of my strong work ethic, but a lot of people don’t have the mindset that I do. Believe me, enjoy yourself as well. I drank, I smoked, I partied and I still have been pretty successful so far. You need those fun times in college. You have to live a little bit. With that being said, put your career before anything else. Don’t put having a girlfriend or partying or any of that ahead of the grind and your future. When you keep your mind on the task at hand and be as ambitious as you can, anything can happen. I went from the guy sitting in the stands to the guy standing on the field and sitting in the dugout in almost a matter of months. It’s all still been pretty surreal to me.

Set your goals early and get your career started early. Don’t let your junior year or senior year sneak up on you…because time does fly when you’re having fun.

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