From The Senior Arriving In Pullman For Their Last Year, WSU, I Am Going To Miss You

From The Senior Arriving In Pullman For Their Last Year, WSU, I Am Going To Miss You

With only one year left, every moment counts.

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The first time I came onto the Washington State University Pullman campus, I was awestruck. From the brick buildings standing tall amidst the rolling hills of the Palouse, to the busses covered in Cougar decals and the signs hanging all around Pullman sprouting WSU pride, I knew WSU was the community for me. I could not wait to start the next four years of my life — the best four years according to every movie I had ever watched.

Three years later, I am standing back in the promised land for the first time after a not-long-enough summer. My last first time.

It is my senior year, and I am not ready to be done at WSU.

Sure, not stressing over exams and group projects will be nice once I get a job in the "real world," but the magic of this place truly is a temporary experience. WSU is such an incredible campus, unlike any other in the world, and it is terrifying to think that this is the last fall semester I will get to experience. Only one academic year stands between me and my real future.

I am not ready.

Aligning with the popular warnings of a college student's future, I have changed my major. Three times. I have made friends. I have stormed the field after an amazing football game. I have cursed every hill on campus, and believe me, there are a lot. I have done just about everything there is to do here, save for walking across that stage at commencement, but I'll leave that for May.

While I cannot wait to see where the next chunk of time takes me, I am not ready to be done with this place. It has shaped and changed me in more ways than I can count. Though not all of my time here has been the greatest, and I have faced more ups and downs than I care to count, my overall WSU experience has been nothing short of extraordinary.

My time is winding down to an end, as is everyone else's.

Let's make these moments last, and, as always, go Cougs!

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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I'm About To Graduate From College, And TBH? I'm Absolutely Terrified

What happens next?

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I have always been afraid of change. I hate the feeling of instability, of uncertainty, of not knowing what's waiting for me around the corner. I like consistency, I like routine, I like predictability. Maybe that makes me sound like the most boring person on the planet, but I need to know that five minutes from now, and five days from now, and five years from now that I am going to be OK. If I don't have that sense of certainty, I feel like I'm falling through a pitch black void with no way to orient myself.

When I graduated high school, I resisted all the changes associated with it with every fiber of my being. I refused to get involved with extracurriculars at my new university, I chose a major that I had no interest in but I knew would get me a solid career one day, I clutched on to my high school friends for dear life, and I went home to my parents every single weekend. As you can probably tell, freshman year was my own personal kind of hell.

As the year went on and I stewed in the misery I had created for myself, I began to understand why I was so unhappy: I couldn't let go.

I couldn't let go of the familiarity of high school, of the comfort zone it had created for me. No, high school wasn't always pleasant, but it was easy, it was structured. And instead of trying to find a way to make college life my new normal and to create new rhythms to adapt to, I rejected it entirely and tried to recreate my same high school life in a completely new environment. It was like trying to fit a square into a circle.

Flash forward to now, as I begin to set sail on my last semester in college. Since that first awful year, I've transferred schools, changed my major, made new friends, and, though I do live at home, (don't judge me, it's free and I get to cuddle my dog whenever I want), I don't use my parents as a crutch anymore. I've grown a lot and I've learned to ride the waves of change — but that doesn't mean it's not still scary.

In a few months, I'm going to graduate and enter what everyone calls "the real world." The world of full-time jobs, picking out insurance plans, becoming a homeowner, and lord knows what else. And, as you can imagine, I once again find myself as terrified as I was that first year after high school.

It feels like there's so much I don't know. At least when I was starting college, I knew I still had time to figure this whole "life" thing out. But now, time is up, and I'm still left with a million unanswered questions. Do I need to go to grad school? How do I even begin to start a career? Where will I live? What happens next?

Not knowing the answer to any of those questions makes me feel paralyzed with fear. I truly have no idea what I'm supposed to do after I walk across that stage in May and get handed a diploma that is supposedly meant to embody my preparedness for the next phase of adulthood, when, in reality, I've never felt so unprepared for anything in my life.

The next few months are going to bring some of the most chaotic and unpredictable changes I've ever experienced, and that terrifies me. There's so much uncertainty about what the future holds and it's incredibly destabilizing and disorienting.

But I've learned better than to be taken over by that fear.

I've learned that it's OK to be afraid of change — everyone is, and for good reason. It's a scary thing to abandon your normal for something new, but "new" doesn't need to mean "bad." I won't let myself shut down this time and ignore the reality right in front of me. It's time for me to graduate and move on, just like everyone else. I can either resent that reality, like I did when I graduated high school, or I can try something different this time and embrace it. I don't need to deny the fear that I'm feeling, but I don't need to be controlled by it either. I can choose differently, and this time, I intend to.

I choose to be optimistic about my future and know that whatever happens, I'll land on my feet, because I always do. I know that a lot of things are going to change and I can't try and take the past with me, otherwise, I'll be weighed down by it forever, unable to move forward and find new ways to be happy with my life. I know it's going to get difficult and ugly at times, but I also know that I am not doing this alone and I have a strong head on my shoulders. I'm still scared, but I know that I'll be OK. I have to be.

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