Dear Late Bloomers: Maybe You Can't Live Your Life In First Place

Dear Late Bloomers: Maybe You Can't Live Your Life In First Place

You should love yourself. But you should not love yourself so much that you stop trying to improve.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I used to when I would race at County Championships and place 2nd to last.

I was the 5th fastest runner on my school’s cross country team. I was the fastest in my events on our track team. My freshman year, I was captain of both teams. I was fast. I have the medals and trophies to prove it. I worked hard and always pushed myself. Yet, for whatever reason, whenever the Gwinnett County XC Championships were held, I sucked.

The problem was never arbitrary. It wasn’t the unnaturally cold weather. It wasn’t the fact that
I was unlucky and my shoe came off while I was racing. It wasn’t because the course was unnaturally hard. It was because, on the competitive Gwinnett County level, I qualified to run, but I was slow.

The problem with placement is that it is relative. You can be amazing in comparison to one group and utter trash when placed in competition with another.

It’s the same with college. In high school, I was an overachiever. I was extremely involved, held multiple leadership positions, and graduated with a 3.8. In college, I have a 3.4, a job, and no leadership positions. I am not particularly good at my job (if I can be called good at all). I have been rejected from every other thing I have applied to and am ineligible for the majority of scholarships that would make it possible for me not to have to work. I have no other viable options and given my current repertoire, my future competitiveness in the job market is shaky.

On the flip side, I attend a competitive university and have an acceptable GPA. I have a source of income. I am a published writer. I have friends I love and live in a community that provides me with opportunities I would never be able to dream of having otherwise.

I’m still qualifying.

As a junior, I feel like I am still at the starting line, surrounded by freshmen who are moving faster than me.

College is the County Championships of my life so far.

I’ve always been a late bloomer. I have always spent more time observing than being, thinking than vocalizing, building courage and energy than making use of it. I worry I do not have the time nor money to train myself into the front of the pack.

You may have mistaken this for a post that would culminate into some super positive “it’s OK to be how you are,” “love yourself,” “the world is still your oyster,” “*insert list of older people who became successful* This can still be you” article. It is not. It is not because those people are anomalies. Those people had a skillset and area they excelled in, they simply had to wait to be recognized for this. In reality, being one of those people is becoming less and less realistic.

I say all of this not to be pessimistic. I do not mean to scare or guilt or shame anyone, nor myself. I say this as inspiration to do something about it. If you don’t have a skillset, get one. Network. Find the thing within yourself that is delaying your progress and kill it. Or at least turn it into something useful.

There is a thin line between characteristics of who you are and characteristics of who you are right now.

The line is the decision. Nothing can define you besides what you allow to. If you can't live your life in first place, it's because you chose to accept second.

Dear Late Bloomers: This is a caution against complacency. You should love yourself. But you should not love yourself so much that you stop trying to improve.

“External circumstances will not change until internal belief systems change."
- Myles Munroe

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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NBA 2K18 Is TRASH, 2K Needs To Improve 2K19

Trash Mechanics. Trash MyLeague. Microtransactions. Check, check, check (and no, that isn't a reference to the money they make).


2k games has developed a monopoly in regards to a few of their games. The most obvious and culturally relevant game they make? "NBA 2k." It has developed an immense and passionate fanbase, dedicated to either rebuilding teams, staking a claim on the title of "GOAT," or playing competitively against other players online. However, monopolies have obvious cons; with no obvious alternative that is a great competitor, the quality of these games has declined precipitously. "2K18" has come to vex and perplex just about every 2K fan, and Ronnie 2K needs to improve this trash game.

First, let's talk about how essential microtransactions are to improving your game. For MyCareer, for you to level up your player, you have to grind for essentially days on end to avoid purchasing VC (the game currency) and to procure a high level of success with your game, especially if you are to use your character against fellow players online. There is also essentially a requirement to purchase currency to play against the well-established teams (hint, those teams have Steph Curry and others). It is 100% a broken system that serves as a money-making venture for 2K.

Next, the MECHANICS. Are you telling me I cannot make a layup in the post, just because I am being chased? That an open look 3, just because I released too early, won't go in? I also hate the fact that you are somehow able to step out of bounds, BUT, Giannis shook me by stepping out of bounds. Twice. Also, their passing is... perplexing. somehow, the center possesses the reflexes to snatch my pass out of midair, but I cannot get steals like that to save my life? I can't steal passes when they come up through the lane? OK then. The shooting feels broken sometimes, especially when players like Marcus Smart start draining three. Or Ben Simmons taking a shot outside of the key.

MyLeague is also annoying. It could be SO fun. It really could be an enjoyable experience. BUT there is so much wrong. One, the lottery odds shift on you constantly, and the teams that SHOULD be getting top picks do NOT end up procuring the picks (thanks for ruining my Bulls rebuild). Next, the trades are broken. Rudy Gobert is not coming to the Bulls for a top 10 protected pick and Kris Dunn. The Charlotte Hornets are not going to hedge their bets on Mo Bamba and trade away a franchise player like Kemba and get only that pick in return.

Development is also broken, and the good teams you build somehow can never score enough despite possessing the ability to (The Warriors, Thunder, and Cavaliers all provide examples of teams in real life of teams possessing three stars OR MORE that could average consistently high point totals). Also, tanking teams make the finals, and win, with the best scorer scoring 15 points per game? That is it? Really? Nah.

I am not some big fan of NBALive. EA is also a monopoly capitalizing on the market not providing a worthy competitor, and Live has been subpar for years now. However, 2K is going the way of Madden in that the game is declining in quality while still being the only option. For some consumers, this is the major purchase they make over the course of the year. No other games end up on their shelves, and they have the opportunity to lose their fanbase if it continues to decline as it has. Ronnie2K, PLEASE fix your game.

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