To The Girl Wearing My High School Jersey, It's Your Turn Now

To The Girl Wearing My High School Jersey, It's Your Turn Now

You play for the team on the front and the number on the back.
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To the girl who wears my jersey,

It is your turn now. This jersey represents your school. This jersey represents your team. This jersey represents you.

Wear your jersey with pride. Play through every whistle, every buzzer and run through every finish line.

You get four years.

You get four years to make people remember you.

If they don't remember your name, they will remember your number.

If they don't remember your skill, they will remember your attitude.

Every player is remembered by something.

You are playing for the number on the back and the team on the front.

Be the girl who left it all out there.

Be the girl who will leave high school with no regrets or thoughts of "if I would've given a little bit more."

Be the girl who wears her jersey with confidence.

Be the girl who can look back at these four years and think "if I could, I would do it all over again."

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Hartley

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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8 Steps To Surviving Your Senior Year Of High School

A senior's guide to surviving the final year of high school.

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Senior year for many teens is the final stepping stone to finally getting out of the prison called high school. It's the magical year where you and your best friend pledge to stay best friends forever and you profess your love for your significant other; it's the start of your life and it seems like one huge musical number. But, I'm here to tell you the cold hard truth: senior year is like the gladiators, and you have just entered the dome.

Senior year is not where you can burst out into song and dance about how you're "all in this together" or about how the mediocre student becomes the genius of the school- it's about surviving. These simple eight steps will go a long way.

1. Preparedness creates readiness

I know you've always been taught that being prepared goes a long way, and it's true. I've found that if I have everything I need, it's less of a hassle. Anything from highlighters, notebooks, pens, binders, and maybe even a mini stapler.

Preparedness also includes being organized. If you keep your papers for certain classes in a certain folder, it helps a long distance. Post-it makes these little tabs that work excellently for marking different subjects. This is especially important if you have AP classes.

2. Apply, apply, apply! Because the worst they can say is deny, deny, deny 

Along with senior year comes college. College is like the Michael Jackson of our lives up until this point. Everyone talks about college, knows about college, and prepares to get to the point of college. But, we often have the habit of sticking to one. What if you get denied?

To increase your chances of going to college, apply to as many as you can. I've applied to ten, and most were as soon as applications went online.

It's also helpful if you have an advisor through the application: your parents, a guidance counselor or a college coach if your school has one. It is to help better your college application so you can get in.

3. FAFSA If you want the cash-a

FASFA is a glorious glorious superhero for us upcoming college students. It's the Batman of college; rich and resourceful. FASFA is financial aid for college, and the faster you get it done, the faster colleges will respond.

You hear Senior's everywhere saying, " I'm not going to college because I can't afford it", well that's a bunch of bull because FASFA is here to save the day!

Your counselors should be able to help you with setting an account up. This year, FASFA started to be available on October 1st.

4. If it has a screen, it's not part of the dream (unless you want to have a career in technology...)

Seriously...You're there to learn, not to stare at a screen mindlessly for seven hours. You miss out on valuable learning time and socializing face to face. The only reason you should have your phone out is in emergencies or if you need it for a class. Side note: I bet that you wouldn't even noticed someone in a gorilla suit in the class.

Just, put the phone away and you'll get better grades, I promise.

5. Fool around, you're six feet underground (your grades...I mean)

Seniors always get a bad case of senioritis at least halfway through the year. Most don't care because they've put in the work the other years so they don't see the point in putting the effort in their final year. One question: don't you have to pass to graduate?

So, wouldn't it be better to actually do your work, get the grades, and earn your ticket out of that prison? Your choice.

6. DON'T stop in the name of love if you want to rise above 

I mean college as in "rise above," of course. I'm not saying you can't be in love and in a relationship, I'm just saying that it shouldn't mingle with your school life. It adds a ton of extra drama that you don't need in your already stressful life. Plus, you can't be like Betty and Jughead and live happily ever after from the beginning.

So, if you want to survive your senior year, don't let your relationship dictate how it goes.

7. True friends thrive and will help you survive 

Best friends are a part if life; you tell them all your secrets and you share several inside jokes. Years worth of laughter, smiles, and late nights phone calls are spent with your best friend. But, with senior year approaching, you have to decide who is a real friend and will be there when you need it.

I'm not talking about the six-year-old you with a macaroni necklace and pinky promise to be BFF's. I'm talking about the friend who is always there and never stabs you in the back.

Senior year is stressful enough, so why add on to it with slippery snakes as friends?

8. If you give up, you're out of luck 

The image says it all, most places today (and colleges) don't accept people who haven't completed ALL four years of high school. So, don't be like Castiel and quit. Thrive and do your best to succeed.


Alright, now that you have taken these eight steps to survive, you can FINALLY break out into song and dance. Just don't make three movies and songs that nobody can get out of their head once they start singing it, and you should be good.

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