When I got to Charleston as a freshman back in 2013, I really didn’t know what to expect about the campus. What I’ve found is that it’s a unique place with classrooms and buildings wedged in between restaurants and shops.

It was different from Orlando (my hometown), but eventually, I grew to really appreciate it. Now, it’s kind of part of who I am. It’s been my home away from home for four years. This probably won’t come as a surprise to many, but where you’ll find me most days isn’t at the Cistern Yard or Rivers Green. If I’m not in my apartment, nine times out of 10, I’m at TD Arena. 

From the start, TD Arena has been the place I’ve gravitated toward for everything. I find myself there at all hours, getting shots up, watching television, studying and even sleeping. It just feels comfortable. The locker room, specifically, is pretty sacred ground for me. My teammates are the best guys to be around. There’s never a dull moment with them.

The locker room is kind of a small example of each guy’s living space, so you can make a pretty fair assumption about what a guy’s room looks like based on his locker. I think it’s safe to say, I’ve seen both the messiest and the cleanest lockers ever.

The best part about being in there with the guys is that you get a chance to see so many different perspectives. We have guys from all over the nation and even two guys from different countries in the locker room, but it feels like a family. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with so much going on in the world right now, but the locker room has been a place that we can forget about everything for a while. It’s been our escape.

– Joe Chealey

Joe Chealey is a senior business administration major and co-captain of the Cougars men’s basketball team.

Photo by Mike Ledford