High School Reunion

I Went Back To High School And Truthfully, I Hated Every Single Second Of It

I visited my alma mater and feel alright about never going back.

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Most of the time, you hear college students reminiscing about their high school days, and once they visit their old school again they never stop talking about how much they missed it, but not me.

I visited my alma mater and I despised almost every second that I stood in that parking lot. Don't get me wrong, I love so many people I went to school with, but this idea that we HAVE to love going back to high school is one that I have never understood.

I went to visit my old English teacher and I got to see my choir teacher of three years which was amazing, but being back on that campus brought back some of the worst moments of my life. It was even worse when the students came pouring out to get in their cars and I had to smile and wave at kids that never gave me a second glance when I was in their classes.

As I was standing there, waving to these people who had nothing to do with me in school or even ridiculed me for being the one who graduated a year early felt wrong, but I started over. I went to ECU with a clean slate and that's exactly how I acted. I didn't hold the past against them, and they genuinely seemed happy to have me back. But it felt foreign, being the one who everyone turned their attention to.

My old English teacher made a comment about how I seem to be the only college kid that goes back to their old high school to visit teachers and ignore the people I grew up with. But I don't think I'm the only one. There are so many college kids who didn't enjoy high school and genuinely would be okay with never going back, and I think it needs to be more widely discussed. Nothing says we have to miss high school. Nothing says that the high school days were our glory days. We're allowed to never want to walk those halls again.

It's crazy how leaving can influence people to like you. It's a common theme among society today though. A celebrity dies and we all act as though we worshiped them when in reality the majority of us had no idea who they were or even said we hated what they did, whether it be music or something else. I guess that's just the socially acceptable thing to do, but it's flawed.

Paying respects is one thing, but pretending like you were a fan all along is something I've never quite understood.

We as college students or high school graduates are trapped behind a stigma that says we HAVE to miss high school, that we HAVE to see those as the "good ole days" when in reality, they're nothing compared to the memories we are able to make afterward. Those days don't compare to the memories of seeing you or your best friend getting married, the memories of having our own children, or even the memories of you traveling the world as an independent person. THOSE are our glory days, not being trapped in a school for four years (three in my case) where you had to follow a dress code that made zero sense to any of the students.

But hey, if you enjoyed high school, good for you. Just don't make the rest of us feel less than none for wishing that they never have to step foot in there again.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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An Open Letter To High School Seniors In Their Final Countdown To Graduation

Go to that baseball game, don't miss prom, and make every 'last' count.

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Four long years is finally coming to an end. Graduation is around the corner. As excited and ready to move on to the next big thing as you are, you still have the last stretch to graduation. Prom, Finals, Senior Takeover, Grad Bash, Senior Awards and so much more are awaiting you in the next few weeks. As overwhelming as this may sound, I URGE YOU to make the most of everything that is left in your high school career.

This is the last time when it will be this easy and carefree for you to just pick up and go to a sporting event or club meeting.

This is the last time you may be able to play a sport you love or watch your long time bestie do the same.

This is the last time you will ever be around this exact same group of people at a place you have grown all too familiar with over the past four years- a place that feels like home.

A quote from my favorite show, One Tree Hill, reads "It's the oldest story in the world. One day you're seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life". Senior year, especially at the tail end, this quote really comes to fruition. Days fly by, and before you know it you are crossing the stage in that cap and gown with your diploma. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that time FLIES. I know being home studying for that last set of high school finals & AP exams can really suck and all you want is for it to be over, but once it is you can never get that chapter of your life back.

High school is truly one of a kind. Granted, college is awesome in the fact that you get to create your own schedule and take classes on your own time. However, if you think that you no longer have to take math or English, you are sadly mistaken. The two types of schooling hold lots of similarities, but the freedom of college is what makes all high schoolers want to fast forward to moving away. Hear me out, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR REMAINING TIME AT HOME. In college, or the 'adult world' if that's your thing, there are no make-up tests, not many nice teachers that are willing to bump your grade or work with you, there's no parents or guidance counselors making sure you're on the right track, there's no one telling you to go to class (a blessing and a curse), and there is most definitely not someone paying for you and everything you do- even if your parents do intend to help you out financially. You are on your own, most likely for the first time.

Although this can be a thrill, an amazing new experience, it is something that takes adjusting. For those of you going to college, you may be sharing a room/bathroom or having a roommate for the first time, or studying somewhere other than your kitchen table, or pulling all-nighters either at the library or out on the town. All of this will be new to you and you will most likely not have your lifelong friends and family right there next to you every step of the way. So I beg you, please enjoy every picture at a senior event, every spring sport, every home cooked meal, every time your parents use their card to pay for something, every snuggle sesh with your parents when they won't let you go because you're going to leave soon, and every single memory in your hometown with your childhood friends- especially those that are younger than you who you are leaving behind and will not be moving on just yet.

This is all soon to end as you all finish that last exam, put on that cap and gown, and cross the stage to receive your diploma. Get ready to leave the first chapter of your life behind, but NEVER EVER forget all those memories you made. High school is once in a lifetime, so make all those 'lasts' count and cherish them forever. Now, start getting ready for the rest of your life and make sure to take what you've learned along the way with you to make your mark and leave a lasting impact on this world. You are ready.

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