Home Sweet Home (of White and Blue)
Start writing a post
Sports

Home Sweet Home (of White and Blue)

Thank you, college, for teaching me to be an adult. Thank you, high school, for teaching me that I can always go home.

8
Home Sweet Home (of White and Blue)

Last year, I thought I had it all figured out. As a senior in high school, I sped around my hometown in the sleek, "manly" black Jeep I'd gotten as an early graduation present. I loafed through the halls with my friends, counting the days until I'd throw my cap into the air and kiss this stupid place goodbye.

Now, don't misunderstand. I enjoyed living in Jackson, Tennessee. I loved the fact that I'd attended Jackson Christian School for 13 incredible years, and more life-changing moments than I can count happened in the place that I'd always called home. Jackson, Tennessee is where I'd met friends for a lifetime, and it's where the roots of my entire being are planted. But it was time to move on, and by the time my last high school baseball game as "The Voice of the Eagles" rolled around, I was practically tearing down the door to hop on I-40 and make a new life for myself as a freshman at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Then, something incredible happened.

We lost, and just like that, my whole "get me out of here" mindset was thrown out the window.

The thing was, we weren't supposed to lose. It was the game that would determine who would go on to the state playoffs in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and as the defending State Champions, my friends weren't about to let one pitcher keep our school from its second straight state championship. But, as we all must learn, life happens. Trenton Peabody's Matthew Pickard controlled the game and its tempo from the get-go, and the Golden Tide danced the night away in celebration as our seniors (myself included) strolled through the dirt, lost in a fog of thought and emotion. We wouldn't be going to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. We wouldn't get another ring. Most importantly, we wouldn't have even one more inning of baseball to play (or, in my case, announce) together.

On this night, time stood still. For so long, we had all tried to cherish the last few weeks while digging into the turf in preparation to hit the ground running in the next chapter of our lives. We had applied and been accepted, and some of us were already packed. But as we walked through the darkness wondering what went wrong, graduation loomed frighteningly, and our futures were suddenly much too close for comfort. This was it. This was the end, and nothing could change that.

The next day, I woke up, took a deep breath, and slowly looked over the clothes laid out in front of me. As I put them on and drove across the street to meet the rest of my class for pictures, I couldn't help thinking of the emotional night I'd had just a few hours prior. I couldn't help wondering how it had all gone by so quickly, and whether or not I had become the person I had always dreamed I would be by this point in life.

After thinking it over and eventually being satisfied with myself and my future, I screamed in celebration with the rest of my class as our caps finally flew. I cherished the summer and spending time with the people I'd grown up with, and I packed and prepared to finally, FINALLY begin my future at UT.

Now, as I sit here writing, I find it hard to believe that my life has turned out this way. So many dreams are coming true already, and singing "Rocky Top" with my new best friends every Saturday in Neyland Stadium brings a joy that I cannot put into words. I'm prepared to take on yet another adventure as I'm now a few weeks into a new beginning, but I'll always remember that the true excitement lies not in new places or people, but in the small moments that make life worth living, no matter where that living is done.

Thank you, UT, for being so fantastic and helping me start anew.

More importantly, however, thank you, Jackson and Jackson Christian. I wouldn't be who I am without you or your people, and even though I never knew it, the supposedly boring day-to-day life I lived in West Tennessee was always truly an adventure of its own.

Thank you for nurturing me and guiding me, and for pushing me to be more than I ever thought I could before the new start that we all knew I'd eventually need. Go Vols, but more importantly as a proud alumnus of an incredible institution, Go Eagles.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

7409
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

939505
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

116228
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments