As my sophomore year of college comes to a close, I can't help but look back and reflect on the past year. Most people say that freshman year is one of the hardest years of your life, but for me it was my sophomore year. Although I have dealt with a lot in my life especially when I was in middle school and high school, a lot was thrown my way this year, but luckily I was able to open up and get through this with the best people by my side. The 2017-2018 school year was definitely a tough one, but it was filled with a lot of growth. I feel as if I learned even more about myself and who I want to be as a person as well as the type of people I want to surround myself with on a daily basis.
Fall Semester 2017
The 2017 fall semester of my sophomore year was filled with many challenges. At the start, I felt as if I was losing people that had such positive impacts in my life and I never thought they would re-enter my life, but eventually they did. Along with this, their were many times I found myself wondering if some days or weeks would ever end. I was in a really bad place mentally especially in the month of November. The fun, loving bubbly person that I am was nowhere to be found and I was constantly doubting myself, abilities and questioned if this is what I wanted from life. I was at a crossroads and I never thought I'd find myself again. As December approached, a fire was lit under me. I kept my head down and mentally got myself back on track. I am forever thankful for my family and friends, especially my mom during these times. Usually, I would close everyone off and just deal with all of this on my own, but my mom was there every step of the way. My mom knows that it is extremely hard being a student-athlete while also juggling outside distractions and relationships and she recognized that I was not myself. My mom knows me better than anyone else and recognized that I was not okay before I even truly knew it. Once I recognized this, I knew I needed a change.
Spring Semester 2018
As the second semester came around, I thought things were headed in the right direction, but I was wrong. Although I was mentally back in it on the court, in my studies and in my friendships, I was struggling with some outside distractions in my private life. I had just got out of a relationship that took some time getting over because this person was one of my best friends. It's hard to let go of someone you were dating, but even harder to let go of someone you genuinely cared for as a friend and always wanted the best for them. At the time of all of this, I was devastated, but looking back now I believe that some of that relationship was a root cause of my stress and unhappiness. I realized that although it was a surprise how everything happened, I know that it needed to happen. Once my relationship ended, I began reconnecting with two extremely important people in my life. Although it felt as if they left my life back in the Fall, they truly never left my life. It was great to have them by my side, especially because I feel as if they are two people that know me the best in my life. Just knowing that they were there for me meant everything to me. Even to this day, I can't imagine life without them. As February and March came around, I was still very unhappy and still did not feel as if I was myself. I put up a good front, but once again, my mom noticed it. I had many conversations with my mom about my life and she really gave me a lot of insight on how to go about certain things. Without my mom I do not know where I would be today. As the rest of my year continued, I had a lot to think about which kept me awake on many nights. I was still really unhappy and I thought change was the answer. Change is the answer, but that change is within myself, not within the people around me or my surroundings, but within myself. With great friends by my side and a supportive family, they gave me a lot of confidence to find myself again and I am forever grateful for them and their ongoing support.
Although this year was a tough one for me, I realized that I had to lose myself a few times to truly find myself and who I really want to be in this world. I know that I want to be the girl that people can always rely on. The girl that is strong through everything. The girl that tries again after getting knocked down. The girl that is optimistic. The girl that smiles or laughs at least once a day. The girl that puts others first. The girl that never gives up. But, most importantly I want to be the girl that has an impact on every life. This is who I am and who I continue to strive to be. This is me and through my struggles, I am forever thankful for the lonely and long days because they have paved the way towards my goals and have shown me the most beautiful things and people.