Cheerleading changed my life in these five ways

From a shy, lonely girl to a girl with lots of friends who wasn't afraid of getting in front of a crowd, cheerleading changed my life for the better.

1. I came out of my shell... VERY QUICKLY.

Rock the Chargers Pep Rally

Bryanna McCool

I didn't really have a choice. I was suddenly thrown out in front of my entire school and told to perform. I was very very shy, but that changed quickly. I made new friends and began to transform into who I am today- a confident leader who enjoys the spotlight. ;)

2. It brought me amazing friends.

Homecoming "Hey Song"

Bryanna McCool

Like I said earlier, I was really shy and I lacked in the friend department. Cheer brought me some of the most amazing friends i could've ever asked for. After you go through six years of summer practices and near-death experiences at cheer camp, it's almost impossible not to be friends.

3. It taught me to live for the moment.

Friday Night Lights Kickoff

Bryanna McCool

Over the past six years, I've cheered for well over 50 football games and plenty of basketball games; however, it wasn't until my senior year that I began to embrace every moment. On senior night, my dad had to drive me home after I realized that I'd never cheer on McGee Hughes Wright Field ever again- I wasn't quite ready for that yet. My senior season of cheer taught me how to live for the moment, not to rush through life, because you only get to enjoy these things for so long.

4. It gave me a sense of friendly rivalry.

Real PA Football Run-Thru

Bryanna McCool

At my school, our biggest rival has the same initials that we do, and since our foundings, we've been instant rivals. Every year and in every sport, it's always a battle as to "who's the real PA" Going into college, especially at an SEC school, rivalry is a big part of every sport. Cheerleading gave me a sense of friendly rivalry, unlike softball where it could get a little nasty, haha.

5. It gave me school spirit that will never die.

Squad... well minus our injured one.

Bryanna McCool

There's something about being a cheerleader, cheering on your friends on Friday nights, watching your besties win state championships, and wearing your school's colors. A sense of pride runs through you and it's an honor to represent your school in that way. The last time I took the uniform off, it was heartbreaking, but there was one thing that I knew. I knew that I would have a sense of Pirate Pride that would never go away, and I'd never wear columbia blue without thinking about all the memories I have.

For those that wear the uniform behind me, cherish it, love it, and take pride in the name you wear across your chest. There's nothing like being a Pickens Academy cheerleader, and it's high on my list of best experiences of my life. I wouldn't change anything (except for maybe winning a few championships) about my experience cheering on the Pirates, but I'd give anything to be able to do it just one more time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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