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 All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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If You've Been Friends With The Same Girls Since High School, You're Not Friends, You're Sisters

It's true when they say you'll know who your real friends are after graduating high school.

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We all say we will stay in touch after graduation, but we don't. And that's not a bad thing at all. Of course, everyone gets busy as we all transition into that college lifestyle. We make new friends and we change our priorities as well as our own character. We naturally grow apart and that's just life.

The people I did stay in touch with were the ones who shared similar values as me. Among the four of us, family and education were all we truly cared about and we didn't make time for distractions. What we described as "distractions" go along the lines of partying and relationships. Especially since this is our first year and maybe, later on, we can look at those distractions as something worthwhile but at this time in our lives, we aren't concerned about making time for that.

I still have other friends back home but I only met up with my closest friends who made time to meet up. Every girl has an inner squad of friends that they'll always tell everything to. These girls are essentially your bridesmaids. They'll be in your lives for a very long time.

I'm the only one from our group that went out of state for school in New York whereas most of my friends stayed in Virginia. I thought I'd never really talk to most of the people I went to high school with just because I lived far away now and focused on schoolwork. But I was most excited to see my friends who always had my back, who are always ready to lend a hand, who got me through the struggles of high school. I did not get to see some of my friends due to traveling and leaving for school early. May, MJ, and Bee made time to have a girls night out.

The first night, we went to the movies to watch "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Of course, it was raining and we were stuck in traffic so we missed about 20 minutes of the beginning and chose seats right in the middle of the aisle, annoying the packed J row. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you must!

The Thursday morning after, we went to Tyson's Corner mall and browsed through the different stores. They helped me find the correct shade of foundation at Sephora because I don't know much about makeup. May convinced MJ and me to try sushi. I never really liked any seafood or the smell of fish, let alone eating raw fish! I attempted to try sushi when I was 11-years-old, but I couldn't swallow it down. Instead, I gagged it into a napkin.

May says it's probably because it wasn't made fresh and this time, it'll be tasty. We tried the California roll, the scorpion, and shrimp tempura, all cooked inside. Baby steps. My favorite was the California roll and I want to actually go out and try more sushi. It surprised me more than I expected.

Saturday evening, we went out to eat at a Turkish restaurant where I ordered a dish that I thought was a gyro wrap but ended up being a gigantic beef patty. I don't think I've eaten this much in one sitting EVER. We were all in a blissful meat coma. But we managed to still go to Magnolia Dessert Bar to try a green tea waffle cake and ice cream. And of course, to commemorate this day, we all went into their small but well-decorated bathroom to take pictures. We tried our best given the dim light.

My friends already headed back to school. I didn't realize how much I missed spending time with them. I wish we could have all gone to the same school and been suitemates. High school and college friends are different. May, MJ, and Bee, I've known them more than five years and I miss our conversations and stories. Coming back home to them gave me a sense of nostalgia. My college friends are AMAZING, but the girls I grew up with, my sisters, will always hold a special place in my heart.

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