When Your Passion Becomes Your Enemy

When Your Passion Becomes Your Enemy

Sometimes our favorite things can become our worst nightmares.
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Wrestling has been the foundation of my life for the last 12 years. The past two years however, have been full of frustration, disappointment, and anger. In a previous article, I wrote about how sacrificing the first half of my collegiate wrestling career by undergoing shoulder surgery in early August, has forced me to become tougher mentally. As of right now, I am four months into the rehab and everything was going according to plan. At least until now, that is.

During my Thanksgiving break, my parents and I agreed that I should get an MRI on my other shoulder just to make sure it was safe. That following Monday, I got a call from the surgeon with the results. Sadly, it wasn't the result I was hoping for. He told me that I had a Bankart tear in my labrum and that we needed to meet to discuss treatment options. The following week, my family and I sat in his office and made a decision,

After looking over the MRI and listening to my surgeon's opinion, I decided that I would be undergoing a second surgery. This has been such an incredibly frustrating time for me. I never thought I'd ever have to sit out of competition for a year, never-mind two. This surgery will push my recovery time all the back until June, instead of March or April. It seems to leave me with this question: Where to I go from here?

Truth be told, I'm not really sure. I don't know what I do once I'm back to 100%. I love wrestling, I love it with every fiber of my being. But, at the same time, I hate what it has done to me. This sport has destroyed my body and destabilized my life. If I said that I wasn't scared to get back on the mat, then I'd be lying. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't want to wrestle again, because I can't imagine my life without it. I guess I just need time to think and heal. At least I'll have plenty of that in the coming months.

What do you do when your passion becomes your enemy? Do you continue to push back and hurt yourself more? Or, do you decide to step back, let it go, and move on the a new stage in your life? Maybe there's a middle ground somewhere yet to be discovered.

I guess all I can do for the time being is prepare myself for the long year that lies ahead. No matter what happens, I will always have the skills and lessons that I was taught over the past 12 years. Those can never be torn away from me.

Cover Image Credit: Nathan Dlugopolski

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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6 Tips On How To Get An A From Your TA

Being a teacher's pet isn't a bad thing--at least for that A.

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1. Show Up On Syllabus Week

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Even though your two years older brother, whose going to the same exact college, swears that syllabus week isn't necessary--it is. Some teachers get their classes up and going right away, taking no time for reviewing the syllabus because you're a big college kid now and should've done that on your own time. During syllabus week, you'll either hop right into lessons or actually review the syllabus that you should've before but you know you didn't. Either way, it's beneficial to go just for the sake of learning where the class is, if not anything else.

2. Show Up On Time After That

Mitchell Hollander

Punctuality is everything about how others see you for first impressions. If you're the kid strolling in ten minutes late everyday, everyone is going to get annoyed--including the teacher. Have some respect for yourself and others. Be sure to attend class on time. Some would say if you're five minutes late, don't come at all, but that's more for the sake of the class and you've got to be watching out for yourself.

3. Sit In Front

Nathan Dumlao

It's not awkward or weird to sit in the very front of the lecture hall, I promise. You're actually setting yourself up for the best when the teacher's mic fails and she's resorted to shouting the rest of the lesson instead of cancelling it. Not only that, but your questions are always addressed first and you can be the first one to reach her after the class is over, instead of the tenth in the line of people who were too nervous to ask the questions during class.

4. Participate In Class

Edwin Andrade Edwin Andrade

If, or rather when, the teacher asks the class to answer a question, just raise your hand and answer it. Stop stressing over whether you're wrong or not. It's far easier just to answer and let class move along instead of sitting there for an awkward five minutes of silence and paper shuffling. Another note, if you have a question, ask it. This refers back to the line of ten people that appears after class because they were too nervous to ask in front of a crowd. Not to mention you're all probably asking the same question. Moral of the story, if you have a question, ask it because at least one other person out of two hundred has that same one.

5. Go To Office Hours

Nastuh Abotalebi

If you need help, get it. Or even if you don't, get it anyways. Have them check over the outline of your paper or ask them what topics they feel will be touched on most during the test. Or even just go in there to have coffee with them. Office hours suck when no one comes in and many TAs enjoy getting to know their students. You're in college; you're supposed to be networking.

6. Talk To Them Like They're People

Michael Discenza Michael Discenza

Because they are. Don't raise your voice when you didn't study and weren't prepared and didn't get the grade you wanted. Don't yell when you aren't getting something. Form a relationship, a good one, because they're students too, probably only four years older than you. They like to get drunk on Friday's too--you'll see them out at the same bars you go to right after you sent that email to them, asking a question about the paper.

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