Thank You, Wisconsin

Thank You, Wisconsin

Wisconsin, you gave us another great basketball season.

I’m not going to lie, I may have almost cried when I saw Florida’s Chris Chiozza hit that buzzer-beater 3-pointer to knock out my Badgers from going on to the Elite Eight.

As the ball sunk, so did my heart.

“This is really it,” I thought, “This astounding run with this incredible team and these four incredible seniors are over.”

Though I may be crushed, I am also thankful. Wisconsin basketball knows how to make every season memorable, and this season was no different.

Thank you, Wisconsin.

Thank you for proving that the NCAA Tournament Committee terribly under-seeded us.

I’m still not sure why we got an 8 seed when we were the runner-up in the Big Ten championship and we have an impressive NCAA tournament history. I understand the Big Ten isn’t doing too hot as of late, but Maryland getting a 6 seed and Minnesota getting a 5 seed?

It just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe the Committee forgot about the Big Ten tournament, and maybe they also forgot that Wisconsin smacked both Minnesota and Maryland during the regular season. Thank you Wisconsin for not caring about your awful seeding and making it farther than both of those teams in the tournament anyway.

Thank you for giving the Big Ten some redemption.

Like I said in my last paragraph, I’m fully aware of the state of the Big Ten. Despite this, I don’t believe the Big Ten is in as much of shambles, as some people think we are. Thank you for proving why this conference is still one of the most competitive in the nation. (Moritz Wagner agrees.)

Not that this is all on Wisconsin, though—Michigan was the sleeper team no one expected, Purdue had a decent run, and Northwestern surprised everyone by falling just short of the Sweet Sixteen in a close game with 1 seed Gonzaga.

Thank you for beating Villanova.

That was a game no one will forget. This game finally made the tournament characteristically chaotic, which is what everyone had been waiting for. It just isn’t March Madness without busted brackets and crazy upsets, and Wisconsin gave us just that. This team proved that we don’t need a superstar like Lonzo Ball or De’Aaron Fox to compete. We just need players who will work together, and of course, it always helps to have the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year.

Thank you for continuing the legacy.

When Bo Ryan left, many were unsure of what the future of Wisconsin basketball would look like. It’s clear now that Wisconsin hasn’t gone anywhere. This season was Wisconsin’s 19th straight NCAA tournament appearance (the 5th longest streak ever) and fourth straight Sweet Sixteen. We’ve had 20+ wins for the 11th straight season (the longest streak in the Big Ten), a winning record in league play for a record 17 consecutive seasons, and double-digit conference wins for 15 of the last 16 years. This season was something to be proud of.

Thank you for going out with a bang.

Wisconsin basketball really does know how to make everything interesting. This last game may have ended in a loss, but you can always leave it to the Badgers to make it an exciting one. Wisconsin and Florida battled it out until literally the last second of the game. Showalter excited everyone watching when he scored a clutch 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation time and then battled it out until the last buzzer-beater shot in overtime—the first overtime of the tournament. How typical of Wisconsin.

Thank you, seniors, for giving us everything you had.

The seniors are really who to thank for why Wisconsin is so fun to watch and why they keep everything so interesting. After the loss to Iowa on March 2, things were looking rough for the team, but loyal fans knew that Koenig, Brown, Showy, and Hayes don’t give up without a fight. After that game, they cleaned up their act and didn’t lose again until in the Big Ten championship game, and then not again until the Sweet Sixteen game against Florida.

Seniors, you will be missed so greatly. No one deserved the championship more than you.

Thank you for everything.


Cover Image Credit: Wisconsin State Journal

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.


As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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