Time is a scary thing and as each of us gets older, it seems to go by faster than we could have ever imagined. Each and every one of you can probably agree with that.
I was always told to “enjoy my four years of college…they go fast but they’re the most amazing four years of your life!” I could never wrap my head around why every single person I ran into said the same thing…until I actually went.
I spent almost the entire month prior to my freshman year here at Quinnipiac having panic attacks and mental breakdowns, thinking I couldn’t do it. I was reassured by friends and family on nearly a daily basis that I was going to be fine and that when I get there, I’m not going to want to leave.
Well…they were right…here I am, a senior at QU wishing I could turn back the hands of time and start over as a freshman. Not because I would change anything…everything that has happened to me these past few years happened for a reason. It is simply just because I do not want it to end.
Having been an active Division 1 athlete for three years, I had to make a lot of sacrifices. My social life was not like the rest of the Quinnipiac population and I often times found myself struggling to catch up on class materials that I missed due to traveling. There have been many times where I think back to myself and wonder what it would have been like if I never played field hockey. Would I have gone to a different school? (Probably…$$$) Would I have gotten to become friends with others just like the ones I’m friends with now? Would my grades be better?
All my life, my time was dedicated to athletics and excelling in them. While many others got to hang out and have a huge get together after prom, I went home and went to bed because I had to be up for practice in the morning. While fellow classmates discussed getting together to study for tomorrow’s huge exam I had to opt out because I had some sort of practice to go to and then I had to go do “this,” “that,” and “the other thing.”
I never had a job throughout high school. Some may look at that as lazy or unmotivated, but to be honest, if half the kids my age were doing everything I was at the time, they wouldn’t have had a job either. My parents and I came to the agreement that if I did all I could in order to gain an athletic scholarship to a university, then I would not have to get a job. That is exactly what I did. I worked my butt off all throughout high school and went out to a recruiting showcase in Palm Springs, California and came home to a ton of letters from interested coaches- one of which was Quinnipiac University. I decided to visit QU and meet with the coaching staff. Coming out of that meeting was as if the stars just all aligned and everything made perfect sense. QU was the place for me. I knew it the second I stepped on to campus. The coaches offered me a jaw-dropping scholarship and at that moment I couldn’t help but be thankful for all the pain, misery, and hard work that I had gone through nearly my entire life.
So why did I just rant on and on and on about my life prior to QU? The answer is simple…from a young age, without knowing it, I was paving a road to success for myself. When I look back on it today I honestly don’t know how I had the mental or physical capacity to do all that I did, but at the same time I am so fortunate to have done so. I can’t imagine what it would be like to look back on past years and think to myself, “I wonder if my life would be different had I not been an athlete”?
Athletes tend to relate many things in regards to life back to their sports. The average person may not quite understand why we do it…but we know perfectly well why. We have developed from children to young adults WAY faster than any other simply because of the the things we go through. We learn to stay poised at a young age. We develop a better sense of respect (as we have coaches that more often than not scare the crap out of us). We learn how to work with others and how to confront one another when necessary. Going in for individual meetings with the coaching staff has shaped us to grow as confident, independent women (or men). These settings have also prepared us for future interviews with companies.
I don’t know about others, but going in for a meeting with my coaches was one of the things I hated most. I found myself crying mid meeting and shaking out of sheer nervousness. I look back on them now, however, and all I can do is thank my coaches for making us do that as I do not think it is possible for me to meet anyone more intimidating in my life. I am hopeful that any other meeting or interview I have in the future will be a lot easier for me because of this.
People may read this and think “Jeeze, I’m not an athlete, but I developed the same way.” I’m going to be completely honest when I say this…YOU MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT! And I’m sorry if anyone took that offensively, but the way athletes live their lives is completely different than anyone else…typically a lot more difficult too.
Anyways, this leads me to our trip that is creeping up on us! When I go to South Africa, I don’t want to be there just to say I went. I don’t want to be there because someone told me it would be a good thing to do. I want to be there for myself and my personal well being. I want to help people. I want to make a difference in the lives of others…but most importantly, I want to look back on this journey and have no regrets. If I find myself 10 years from now thinking back to this trip and beating myself up over something I may have missed out on while there, I probably won’t be able to let it go…at least for a long time.
For many, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I hope that this is just the beginning of the end for me. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities life has given me and the amazing people that surround me each and every day. I would not be half the person I am without the influencers I’ve had throughout my life and I hope that as the years go on I will continue to develop into a powerful, heartfelt woman.
…But on a more “serious” note…DO I REALLY HAVE TO GRADUATE IN MAY?! 😦
Britt : )