Yes, I am a 19 almost 20-year-old female. Yes, I am going into my senior year of college because I am graduating a year early. Yes, that means I will only have been in college for three years instead of four. Yes, I do want to work in college athletics, and yes, I love sports.

This is the “monologue” that I have developed when talking to friends, family, and colleagues about how my college education is panning out. I have been incredibly blessed to be graduating a year early, and I will never take that for granted especially being that most people I talk to appear to be very impressed. However, the part of my “monologue” that seems off-putting to people is that I am a young woman that has a strong love for sports and wants to work in college athletics. I have to say, I am very confused as to why.

Growing up like most other young girls, I was put into ballet classes. I wore the little pink tutus, tights and ballet slippers. However, I always knew that I hated it. After expressing this to my parents, I was then again, like a lot of young girls, put into gymnastics. It was fun, and I personally felt that it involved a lot more athleticism. Yet, I still despised this stereotypical “girly” sport. The third time is truly a charm because not only did I find an extra-curricular and sport that I love, but it was the beginning of a journey that would lead me to my future career path. That sport was soccer.

Soccer is a game that is not only fast-paced and constantly changing, but soccer is technical and full of incredible role models for young girls. Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo. These are just four names of several incredible women. These are women that were and still are my role models, inspiration, and the fire for my love of sports. These are strong, independent, and intelligent women that strive to support and encourage young girls and young women that it is okay to have a love for sports whether it is soccer or not. These women do play soccer professionally, however, they have all expressed that their true passion for the game was developed while they were in college.

Ultimately, I do not have anything against professional sports. I understand, as I have been told many times, that I have a lot more opportunity working in professional athletics and that I could make a lot more money if I worked with professional athletes. However, that is not my dream. I want to work with athletes who are beginning to develop a strong passion and love for the sport that they play. I want to be a part of their athletic journey and have the ability to share my love and passion for sports with them. I want to be able to push collegiate athletes to continue to follow their dreams of becoming a professional athlete.

This is the dream that I have. This is the dream that I have been encouraged to follow through my role models that were/are women athletes. These women sparked the fire for my love of sports. These women helped lead me and pushed me to my current career path. These women helped change my life. These women have a passion and love for sports just like I do.