As graduation is rapidly approaching and senior year is coming to a close, all I seem to hear are seniors (myself included) talking about college. Whether it’s about where we are going, who our roommate is, or just the stress of making these decisions in general, it’s the hot topic these days.
If you know me, you know that I am incredibly excited for college. I have my roommate set up and we’re already planning our dorm. I’ve had so many current students or future students reach out to me and express their excitement as well.
I didn’t always feel this way. This time last year I was stressed, sad, and overall just worried about my future. If you are in the same boat right now that I was in last year, I have some tips for you based on my experience of how I picked my home for the next four years.
#1. How far away do you want to be? Personally for me, I wanted my own indepence, but I also knew that I would miss my family and my dog a lot. Along with that, I wanted a place that my parents would be able to come and watch me play softball without having to drive crazy far.
#2. Know what type of community you want to be in. When I first started my college search, I thought I wanted to be in a big city, at a big school, with a lot of students. As I started visiting campuses, I realized that it’s not about the size of the town, but it’s the environment created within it. I ended up learning that I really did not like feeling suffocated in a big city, and I didn’t want to see 1,000 new faces every day.
#3. Find a place that feels like home. Illinois College was the last campus visit I had to check off my list. Before visiting there, every other place had just felt like another school that I needed to look at to match to my checklist. As soon as I stepped onto campus, I knew. Everyone was friendly, the campus was beautiful, and quite frankly there’s no other way I can describe it. It just felt like home.
I know that making college decisions can be a stressful time, but just remember to make sure you are finding a place that makes YOU feel like you belong. Do not go somewhere just because your friends are or it just seems like a “cool” place to go. If you look long and hard enough, you will find your place that feels like home.
It was these seasons and these times in my life when I really came out of my shell and became confident in who I was as a player and a person. I wanted to thrive and practice more not just for me, but for the 8 other girls on the field who had become my second family.
Another major lesson I learned from these three outstanding people was, “the most important play is the next.” Sure, this may have started out as an on-the-field saying, but as I’ve grown up the saying has grown with me as well. It is not just the field where we need to pick ourselves up and carry on, but in life as well. Things will not always go according to your plans, in fact, they never really do. But, to prosper in this world we need to learn to be resilient and to bounce back from a setback. It is situations that tear us down that truly show who we are as people and shape us into who we are meant to be.
Just this week, I signed to continue my athletic career at Illinois College. Yes, I may have been recruited to play there this summer, but this journey started way before then. It is because of all the coaches, friends, and family that shaped me that I am able to be where I am today and I am beyond thankful for each and every one of them.
If I had to trace the start of my journey, where I realized what I wanted, and actually had a plan to set it into action, I need to credit Rich, Danny, and Nicole. It's not my physical skills that set me apart from other players, it is the values and morals that each one of them taught me that has helped me become who I am today.
So, Danny, Rich, and Nicole, if you all are reading this and I hope you get to, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. You all have no idea how much your words and actions have stuck with me throughout the years and have given me countless opportunities. I would not be where I am today without you and I truly mean that. You all have been a blessing to my life.
You can go ahead and stereotype people, but take just a minute to sit back and think of how people would stereotype you. The truth is, I can probably fit into many stereotypes. I could be that “loud chick” that students see on their teacher’s smart boards every week on the Friday Show. I could be that, “teen with their face stuck in their phone” that adults just love to complain about.
I won’t let these stereotypes determine my path in life and determine my worth. After all, I get to decide what path I take in life. Perhaps we all should not let people’s judgments sway our choices. Be who you want to be. I know I am.
Everyone knows that senior year is supposed to be your favorite year. But it can also be one of the most stressful, right? This year there’s so many things I’m scared of and so many things I’m excited for.
For example, college! College can be such an exciting and scary time, but right now it’s more scary. Deciding where I want to go, filling out applications, finding my roommate, preparing our dorm, and so much more.
Also, the whole this is MY LAST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL thing has me a bit nervous, too. People really don’t lie when they say that high school goes by in the blink of an eye. Before I know it powderpuff, homecoming, senior night, and prom are all going to be over, and I’m going to be moving on to the next chapter of my life.
There’s so many things I’m excited for! Softball is something I especially am looking forward to. I am so excited for this season because I feel like we have such a good chance at making a run for state. Then, there's Senior Night. I used to watch senior night, and now it’s my turn to stand out there.
I’m so excited to just soak in every day and make this last year the best. Even though one chapter is closing, another one is starting.
Have a great summer, Blue Jays! I will see you next school year as a senior.
LOVE. A four letter word that most songs revolve around. What is it, really?
Every single TV show or Netflix movie seems to have their own idea of a perfect relationship, but in real life love by no means looks the same.
For example, a while ago I got hooked on the show Gossip Girl. It’s a TV series based around the lives of six teenagers living a luxurious life in the Upper East Side of New York. The relationship that fascinated me the most was Chuck and Blair’s.
*warning if you have not finished the series be prepared for spoilers*
In Season 1, Blair had another boyfriend, and Chuck, well, Chuck was being himself. Throughout the series they grow closer and closer. At one point after a fight, Chuck imported all of Blair’s favorite items from countries around the world to make it up to her. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but that seems pretty unrealistic.
Also, despite what most movies, tv shows and songs say, you don’t need a man to be happy.
Besides that fact, love is a strange concept. Should you get butterflies? What are butterflies? How do people know if they found The One?
If you ask me, falling in love must be one of the craziest adventures of a lifetime. It seems like most girls dream of planning their wedding and dressing their children, but what if it’s not as perfect as all the pictures make it seem? But, I am only sixteen, so I got some time until I need to worry about that.
Now I’m not saying that finding your “perfect match” is impossible, I’m just saying it’s a weird concept.
The truth is that I know it’s possible to find The One because I have an example living with me, my mom and my dad.