Changes, Choices and Sacrifices

A boy jumped into a swimming pool for the first time; completely ignorant of the idea that his life was about to change. After this first practice of club swim team concluded, he went home, laid down and slept the rest of the day away. “I hated that,” he said to his mom, “I’m not going back.” She looked at him with that look all parents give their children when they know they’re over reacting. “Listen,” she said, “If swim team isn’t for you, then try water polo. It looks like a lot of fun!”

That boy was me five years ago. Choosing to play water polo was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have enjoyed every minute of this crazy sport. Warming up, passing, shooting, scrimmaging, going away for a tournament, the list goes on for miles. Water polo has shaped me as a person. Not only have I learned how to be a team player, but I have met friends who became family.

Although high school is the last thing from easy, it has matured me in ways that water polo failed to. Yet, as I began to expand my horizons and focus on new priorities in life, I began to realize that I can’t do everything and sacrifices must be made.

Last November I took my last shot I’ll ever take in a water polo game. Five years of early mornings and constant swimming flew right over that goal. I thought for months on end and debated what I really wanted in life. The result was easily one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.

But life is full of hard choices. Nothing comes easy, so sometimes we have to step back and realize we are only human.

With my eighth column of the year, I want to send out a message to every student; freshman to seniors. You need to stop and make sure your life is worthwhile, but that does not come from slacking around, you MUST work hard.

Success won’t come easy, you are going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top… just like everyone else. Occasionally you will be knocked down, but if you rebound and learn to live from that fall, you will only grow as a person.

You are going to be given many shots in life, but what matters more than that opportunity, is whether you seize it or not. I seized my opportunity, by leaving water polo to devote myself to this amazing newspaper… I wouldn’t have written this column if it weren’t for taking my shot. Think of what you want in life and what you want to make of yourself.

I’m only human, and in order to make myself successful, I’m going to have to make yet another sacrifice. I loved giving you my tips on how to live life throughout the year, unfortunately, just like water polo, there are greater things in the horizon for me. I hope you enjoyed my messages and personal stories of how to be a success in the future, but this will be my last column to you.

My goal is to learn and grow as a journalist, and in order to do that I must seek new and exciting topics to write about. I hope you take the advice I’ve given throughout the year and apply it to yourself and your daily life… but for now, enjoy your summer Panthers.

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