5 Reasons Why You Should Play Soccer

5 Reasons Why You Should Play Soccer

Trust me, it's awesome.
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When I was eleven, I was lost. I didn’t have a core group of friends who were willing to stay together no matter what. I was just barely out of elementary school when my friend’s dad offered me a spot on his soccer team. I soon found out that a few of the girls from my school were on the team and I subsequently said yes. We were the Rock Creek Valley Griffins, and we were terrible. But that isn’t the point. The point is that being on this team gave me the friends I never knew I needed and taught me a lot along the way. So here are five lessons I have learned from playing soccer!

1. Teamwork

You’re probably thinking that every sport requires teamwork, which isn’t wrong. But, teamwork in soccer is different. There are no plays to be executed like in football or basketball, nor is it a stop and go type of game that requires minimal interaction with others. Soccer is all about communication; it teaches kids skills they could not get anywhere else.

2. Patience

If you are not a patient person, then this is the sport that will teach you that. Yes, soccer is fast and requires thinking quickly on your feet. But half of the time you are waiting for the ball to come to you and you need to WAIT. Think before you act.

3. Leadership

Especially when you are young, you have no idea how to lead a group of people. Usually, you’re fine just being a follower and waiting for someone else to step up. In soccer, you can’t do that. This is a sport in which you become a leader every time you have the ball on the field. You have to decide whether to keep it and shoot or pass it because you don’t have a clear shot. It is your job to keep the other team from stealing the ball from you. In that moment, it is all on you. All of soccer is about making the right decision as a leader.

4. Work Ethic

When you are on the field, you are never allowed to give up. Whenever the ball crosses the middle of the field into your half, everyone needs to spring back to keep the other team from making a goal. You always need to be hypervigilant even when you are on the sidelines. The second you stop paying attention or you stop running, you are done. Soccer teaches you to never ever stop trying.

5. Physical Health

If you eat something unhealthy before a game, you will feel it when you play. The cramps and lethargy will be too real. If you don’t go to practice or work out every day, you will feel awful. Arguably the most important aspect of soccer is that it teaches you the importance of maintaining your physical health. If you do not take care of yourself, you are essentially screwed in this sport and in life. Working out and eating well boosts your self-esteem, helps you perform better in school, keeps you more alert, and makes sleeping more effective than if you do not play.

Cover Image Credit: Michael Goldberg

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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4 Things All Former Athletes Miss About Being Part Of A Team

You WILL miss playing sports in college.

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Ever since I was a little girl, I was always on a team, until I came to college. You'd think that after a lifetime of constant practices, meets, and games that I would've been sick of sports by the time college came around. However, I still miss it so much. I miss goofing around at practices with my favorite people while doing the extremely intense workouts our coaches would give us. I miss riding the bus to every meet while blasting music the entire way there and back. Most importantly, I miss competing with all of my friends and cheering each other on for hours upon hours. There are so many things that I miss about being part of a team and I'm sure you do too. I have listed the top four things that I miss about no longer being part of a team.

1. The unbreakable bond that you have with your teammates

You would think that spending hours upon hours with each other at practices, competing, and team bonding experiences that you would be sick of each other, but you actually learn to love your teammates even more. You spend so much time together that they become your best friends and then you find yourselves hanging out with each other even during the little free time that you have.

2. The trust that you have placed in your coach's hands

You spent years trusting your coaches to make you the best at what you do. Spending hours at practices, working extremely hard to accomplish simple goals and them putting all of their faith in you as you compete in your weekly meets truly builds a social trust between you and your coach.

3. Going to practice every day to practice your heart out

Some days you dreaded it and some days you loved it, but no matter the day you always gave it your all at practice. You'll even miss the hard workouts that always kicked your butt because you loved how it felt to be super sore the next day and to know that you were actually getting better. Plus, you were probably always really fit and in shape so that's always good.

4. Competing at meets with your teammates

Getting out of class early a couple of times a week to lay on the bus seat and blast music with your teammates until you finally get to the school and then doing the exact same thing on the way back. Pretending your teammates hear you cheering them on while they kill it and pretending you hear them cheering you on even though you all are way too focused to hear that, but you still always appreciate it. Not to mention for some athletes, the awful tan lines that you low-key love, but could never get rid of your entire life.

Being part of a team is one of the best experiences I've ever had and I will forever miss it.

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