This weekend, I’m going home for the first time since the semester began to play in an alumni game with my high school soccer team. I know it doesn’t sound like a very exciting way to spend my weekend, but I’m looking forward to lacing up my cleats again and seeing my alma mater.
I feel like when we get to college, everyone does their best to forget their years in high school. As college students, we don’t really talk about where we graduated high school. Believe me, I get it. High school is not always that great. I ate lunch in the library every day of my senior year because I was so ready to get out of there. But looking back, I’m thankful for the time I spent in high school and the impact it has had on the person I’ve become.
I know high school was a long time ago for some of us, but I don’t think it should be something that we never talk about in college. Recognize where you came from, and be proud of where you grew up — your hometown, your mascot and old school colors. Those things were important in shaping you as a person and shouldn’t be labeled as the opposite.
I’m especially thankful for the sports I was involved in while in high school. Soccer was my focus; my senior year was the thirteenth year I played. I’m glad I had teammates to look up to while I was going through those years of my life.
This weekend, I’m looking forward to seeing my old teammates and coaches. I haven’t seen the majority of them since the end of soccer season last May, and there are a lot of new freshmen I am excited to meet. My team’s annual alumni match isn’t just a game to us; it’s a reunion where old teammates get to catch up with each other and maybe teach a thing or two to the younger players.
This year is my first year playing on the alumni team for the game. It’s still a pretty weird concept to be considered an alumna; I don’t feel as old as the girls I used to play during the alumni match always seemed. However, I’m thankful that I’m getting the opportunity to maybe score a few goals while I’m visiting my hometown.
My challenge to you is to not try to hide or avoid talking about where you came from. Be thankful for the things that you were involved in that gave you skills that you still use today. And most importantly, be proud of who you were in high school and who you have grown into since then.