A Thank You To High School Swimming, And Everyone Who Made It Happen

A Thank You To High School Swimming, And Everyone Who Made It Happen

I may have won many awards, but I'm a real winner with this team.
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High school swimming played an enormous role in helping me find my way back into the sport and really helped me understand why I love it so much.

I’d like to thank first and foremost my family. My mom, dad, and brother, for their unconditional support and love for me through my ups and downs through the sport. They will forever be my number one fans and supporters (also they had to pay for everything too).

Thank you to my teammates. Thank you guys for letting me be your captain, your friend, and part of another amazing family. Thank you to some of my best friends who have always been rooting for me even when they’re not physically there, and to Coach Haire and Coach North especially for taking care of me and watching me grow as an athlete and student.

I want to thank high school swimming for helping me understand that even though you still have to work hard and challenge yourself, you're still allowed to have fun.

I’d like to thank high school swimming for helping me understand that there’s a lot more to swimming than early mornings, painfully staring at a black line or drowning for multiple hours a day, but it’s those moments with the team that makes it so much more worth it.

This sport means so much to me but what made it count the most were the people I’ve met and the amazing memories and experiences that all made it worth it in the end. I may have won medals, ribbons, and plaques, gone to state and broke a team record, but I have gained even more by being a part of the most wonderful team out there.

I will forever treasure the everlasting memories I’ve built with my second family. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do all that I have done.

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Ma

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Losing A Grandparent Changed My Life

Live for them, and give them a legacy to be proud of.
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Death isn’t what the average 20-something thinks about every day. You don’t think it will happen to you, or the people around you. You know that it exists because you see heart-wrenching reports on the news daily of another life lost to ignorance or hate.

Yes, losing a grandparent definitely changes your life. For some of us, it's a drastic change. To others: they knew it was coming. Still, some weren't even close to their grandparents because they lived too far away from each other to build a relationship in person.

I can't even fathom that considering both of my grandparents lived a city away from me or across town. They are your second set of parents and the love you've had for your entire life. They are the lessons learned and the ones holding your hand through it all.

When my grandfather died (affectionately known to me as Papa), my life changed. I watched him take his last breath in the hospital alone. I called my mother to tell her that her father died. In that moment: my emotionally sheltered life was torn apart. In that moment: I had to grow up. The person I had leaned on my entire life was gone.

I literally reconsidered everything I had done in my life in a matter of hours. I thought about college, finally graduating and walking across that stage: cords swinging and my tassel hanging there. That was his biggest dream for me, we were only a year away from it when he left this earth.

When a grandparent passes they take a part of you: big or small. When you were younger you planned out life with them. You shared your dreams with them, your insecurities, your childish ways and most of all you shared your love.

They, in turn, taught you lessons about life, helped you realize those dreams, and never let you go without being told you were loved every single time they saw you. They are the suppliers of happiness, security, and laughs. Friends come and go, but your family stays with you forever.

The bottom line is: most everyone knows what it's like to lose a grandparent. We all cope differently, and leaning on others is the best way to keep yourself up. Facing the reality of death is the only way we can accept it and move on. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting, it means understanding. We were lucky enough to have these amazing people to guide us through our younger years, teaching us these vital lessons.

I can't tell you how many times a day I wish I had my papa back. Learning to cope without them is the hardest part, even years later. Grandparents prepare you for life's greatest gains. Little did they know they would be their grandchildren's biggest loss. Live for them, and give them a legacy to be proud of.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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5 Times Your Depression Is Likely To Make You A Terrible Roommate

Mental health is the biggest factor sometimes into one's actions. Watching this happen to someone you love or even yourself can be depressing.

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Over the past few months, I've noticed that depression really sucks. Of course, everyone knows that. I didn't really realize that having serious depression would affect the people around me until my roommates and some friends started getting frustrated by my actions. Once I was confronted, I started seeing everything that I was doing, and it's truly awful and if I were in my roommate's shoes, I would be irritated as well.

1. When you stop acknowledging their presence

Whenever my roommates would come home, I don't even notice. I don't say hi and I don't even talk when they talk to me. I focus on what I'm doing. My energy is too gone to make idle conversation.

2. When you stop cleaning up after yourself

I leave my shoes everywhere, that's my big mess. I have a million shoes and I leave them everywhere. I don't pick up after my dog when she leaves her toys everywhere. My dirty dishes pile up where I leave them. The list goes on.

3. You don't take care of your own room

This is one of the biggest tells in depression. I'm not usually very messy. I'm messy but I always clean up after myself. Now, it takes me weeks to even attempt to straighten up my room. It also ends up getting dirtier within a few hours because I'm careless with my things.

4. You don't take care of yourself and it shows

Making myself look decent has never been one of my favorite things but wearing the same clothing day after day can become a little strange and questionable. Just as well as not brushing my hair or styling it (which I love to do).

5. You avoid any sort of 'hang out' with them.

I've avoided and decline any kind of hang out with them or go to a function with them there. I don't like the social interaction and I know that I'm not feeling up to it, so I just avoid it altogether.

There are so many other things that depression affects when it comes to being a roommate. However, some of those things are too personal. If you have a roommate that is going through some similar symptoms, be careful. Addressing it is hard, talking to them about it is hard, and if not brought up carefully, it can lead the roommate into a further depression. I'm grateful that it was brought to my attention, but I also know that I didn't want to leave my room for weeks. I hated myself even more and the thought that other people noticed the bad habits I had taken up, I thought they hated me too.

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