To My High School Friends, As I Leave For College

To My High School Friends, As I Leave For College

I love you, and I always will.
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In a few short days, I will officially be a college student. As weird as it is for my parents and grandparents, who still think of me as their chubby, bald baby, as weird as it is for friends of my parents who remember when I was "this small," and as weird as it is for people meeting me for the first time, struggling to reconcile the baby-faced, diminutively-sized person in front of them with their idea of what a college student should look like, it's even stranger for me.

I'm not ready.

It's strange because, though I may be loath to admit it in front of my parents, I'm not ready for college. Oh, I'm packed and prepared. I'm ready to take on college courses, make new friends, and live on my own. I'm ready for everything that would make a person think, from the outside, that I'm as ready as ready could be.

But inside, I'm terrified. I'm not ready to leave many of the people who made me who I am and who have changed my life for the better. I'm not ready for the possibility that all of our promises to stay in touch and see each other at least on breaks won't come to fruition.

I will likely never see some of you again.

As hard as it is to think and put down in words, this is the sad reality. No matter how many of those promises we make, some will inevitably go unfulfilled. We'll grow apart naturally, not at the fault of either one of us individually, but it will still happen.

But that won't change the impact you have had on my life or the impact I have had on yours. Even if we never say another word to each other, we will always have our memories and my life will still forever have been bettered by your presence in my life.

Thank you.

Regardless of whether I never see you again in this life or if we stay close through college and someday raise our kids as friends, you have all positively impacted my life in a way that words cannot express the fullness of my gratitude.

Thank you for the smiles and the laughs and the cries, too. Thank you for hugs and photos and memories and forevers. Thank you for every little thing.

Au Revoir. I like this better than goodbye, because it directly translates to "to the see again."

I love you, and I always will.

Cover Image Credit: Nick Wagner

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

Crying.

Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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