My life in college is with my fraternity. My life in high school was with sports. Yes, success in school and obtaining grades still come first, however I believe my passion and motivation in life came from these two functions.
I like to think that participating in sports in high school prepared me for fraternity life, so much to a point that I believe the best fraternity men have some form of sports background. Athletes learn how to operate as a unit with their teammates, work hard, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If those aren't qualities to look for during fraternity recruitment, I'm not sure what are.
So how exactly did high school sports CHANGE my life? Besides finding my friend group which would last me a lifetime and the support that came with it, being a high school athlete taught me character traits that I want to carry with me for a long time.
Let's take wrestling for instance. I wasn't the best, but I the rest of my teammates worked to be the best. We were taught that practice and dedication will earn you what you want. Some weekdays I got to the school at 5 in the morning and didn't leave until 6:30 in the evening with wrestling (school in between), just so I could go home and not eat or drink fluids to keep my weight down. This sport taught me focus and understanding, and that no amount of hard work is too much.
However, to be able to apply the principles I've learned throughout high school into my collegiate life is what I am most grateful for. Looking back, it didn't matter if I was on top of a podium or sitting and watching as my opponents earned the honors that I could've received. That's behind me. It's what I learned from the athletic experiences I had, both the good and the bad, that influences everything I do since hitting campus.
So to all former high school athletes, I want you to realize that your life could be based around the moments you had just a few years ago. Whether you've made the decision to continue your athletic careers in college or not, it's what you learned from an earlier age that motivates every action you take and has been what has prepared you for college. Thank yourselves for the diligent person you have developed into to this day.