This interview is part of a series focusing on introducing Scroll leadership to readers. The following has been edited for clarity.

Brogan Houston, a senior studying communication with an emphasis in journalism, is a former Editor-in-Chief of Scroll.

Q: Where are you from and what brought you to BYU-Idaho?

A: I’m from British Columbia, Canada, a city called Vernon. It’s about the same size as Idaho Falls. I was planning on going to BYU and the whole plan was to go and play hockey there and find some major that I could do while playing hockey. And then I didn’t get into BYU. So the coach told me, ‘just go to BYU-I, take two semesters, and transfer down.’ I did, and my first semester here they dissolved the hockey team at BYU … So I didn’t end up going there, stayed here, and here we are. I know that sounds negative, it’s actually a really positive experience. BYU-I has been awesome so far. I’ve learned a lot, grown lots of connections and everything, obviously met my wife here so that’s huge. It’s been good, but not the way I’d planned it.

Brogan Houston and his wife Hannah.

Brogan Houston and his wife Hannah. Photo credit: Brogan Houston

Q: You write more articles for Scroll than almost anyone else, why do you love what you are doing right now so much?

A: I’m covering something that I’m passionate about, hockey obviously. I also know the importance of connections and getting your name out there and having a strong portfolio and all that kind of stuff in terms of finding work, because everybody tells me ‘there’s no work in communications, why would you study communication, you’re not going to be able to find a job, you’re not going to be able to make money.’ My response to that is—the jobs are out there. Somebody’s gonna get them. Why is it not going to be me?

Brogan Houston and his father, Gordon Houston at a Vancouver Canucks game.

Brogan Houston and his father, Gordon Houston at a Vancouver Canucks game. Photo credit: Brogan Houston

Q: When did your passion for sports begin?

A: I was about 5. We moved into a new house and the kids across the street, they were really into sports. Up until that point I had never really been exposed to them all that much, like my dad would watch the occasional hockey game, but that was about it. So I’d just go over there and play hockey with them. And then eventually my dad bought me a pair of rollerblades and I would roller rollerblade around the neighborhood. Eventually, my parents signed me up for hockey and then it was hockey 100%. I got my first pack of hockey cards and I’d memorize every little detail on the backs of them and then it just exploded from there. It was like every hockey-related thing that I could get my hands on I would memorize it basically. It never really stopped. You should see my search history on my phone. It’s just like player stats. It started as a passion as a five-year-old and it hasn’t ended as a 24-year-old.

Brogan Houston's first year playing hockey, age 7.

Brogan Houston's first year playing hockey, age 7. Photo credit: Brogan Houston

Q: How has being an editor-in-chief changed or influenced your writing?

A: I definitely have a lot more patience now. Because before that, I would kind of get annoyed if an editor changed something, especially if they didn’t send it back to me first. But now having been in that position I have a lot more patience for that. I understand now that even though I am deliberate when writing my articles the editors sometimes just need to go fast, and they just skim everything and maybe change things here and there. I think it gave me a better appreciation for the editors and more patience for the editors.

Q: How do you want to influence media in the future?

A: Especially in the sports writing area, I’d like to make it a little more positive. This is something that I was challenged to consider. Probably like a year ago, maybe more. I was networking a lot. I was reaching out to people on LinkedIn and Twitter as well because Twitter’s really big for sports reading, so I was reaching out to different people just seeing who could give me advice and if anybody’s hiring, that kind of thing. And one guy that I reached out to, he said that if you want to make a difference in sports writing, especially if you have an interest in big market teams like my favorite teams, the Vancouver Canucks, they’re one of the most heavily covered teams, like a player can’t sneeze without somebody writing about it. If you want to make it in a market like that, you have to carve out your own niche and find a reason why people come to you for a specific game. I was thinking about it. It probably took me a month or two to come up with something that I could do better than everybody else. Something that they needed, that wasn’t being done yet. And the thing that I came up with was positivity. A lot of people in general in the world are really negative. And something like sports is meant to be fun. It’s not meant to be negative. And so if I can bring fun to my sports articles, then I think things will be better. I’ve been focusing on that a lot more recently as well. If you go and read my last three or four articles, all my headlines are jokes, like that kind of thing. Just make it fun. People are just there for entertainment so why be negative?

Brogan Houston and his team playing

Brogan Houston and his team enjoying the best part of hockey tournaments—playing a game of mini sticks in the hotel hallway. Photo credit: Brogan Houston

Q: If you had to name one principle that really drives your life, what would that principle be?

A: If it’s not gonna matter five years from now, don’t spend more than five minutes worrying about it. That’s something that my mom used to always tell us growing up. And so I think whenever I have a small problem or a small inconvenience, or like, somebody does something that I don’t like or whatever, I have five minutes that I’m allowed to be mad about it. And then after that, it’s not gonna matter five years from now, so why would I waste my day spent stewing over it right now? I think if we all were to live by that principle, the world would be a lot better place.

Q: What advice would you give to a new student coming to BYU-I?

A: Just send it. I think if you do half a backflip, that’s the negative experience. If you don’t do a backflip at all, you’re fine. If you do a backflip successfully, it’s really cool. If you do half a backflip, you can break your neck. It’s just an awful experience.

So if you’re coming to BYU-I or any other school, don’t come in thinking, ‘oh, I’ll just take a few classes and see how it goes.’ If you’re coming to school, go to school, spend as much time as you need to, to do as well as you can in your classes. Find something that you’re passionate about and that you’re good at and you can make money doing and, and don’t spend every single minute looking for other things to do. Have school as your first priority and then find other things on the side that you can do that are fun. I’m not saying don’t have fun but make school the first priority.