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  • Articles, High School, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Sports, Stress

    How I’m Coping as an Ex-Athlete

    How I’m Coping as an Ex-Athlete

    How I’m Coping as an Ex-Athlete

    Being a student-athlete in high school is hard. But we choose to do it because it’s also exhilarating, and it’s what we love. I’ve played basketball since I was in 7th grade and I’ve gotten so used to constantly having practice, or needing to watch film, or mentally preparing for the next game. There were days I questioned whether I should keep going. Still, I always chose to stay because of the family we had grown into on the court, and because I knew I needed it to mentally and physically survive the stresses of school and life as a teenager. 

    But now I’m here. I can’t find any other words to describe the feeling I have except for gut-wrenching, bittersweet agony. Our season ended in the Elite Eight of the State tournament. But as a senior, this isn’t just the end of my season, but rather an era of my life. My era of being an athlete. I remember as the game clock came to an end my first thought was “I don’t know what to do with myself.” It genuinely felt like my mind went black, deep into a dark hole of uncertainty and fear.

    I’ve been thinking a lot. When such a large thing changes in our lives, that’s what we do… we think of all the positive and negative moments and where to go from here. Here is how I’m coping… reflection.

    My Reflection

    All these years of hard work and determination have come to a conclusion, one that I am extremely proud of. The key is to remember when you used to dream of experiencing these things. I reflect on 9th grade me who dreamed of playing with next-level athletes and in college arenas. I get so overwhelmed just realizing that I got the opportunity to be here and contribute to reaching the Elite Eight. While I know we could’ve gone further, there’s no point in drowning in could’ves, should’ves, and what-ifs.

    Regardless of how our season ended, we accomplished things with the belief we carried in each other. We shielded ourselves from the negativity and doubt of the outside, and we leaned on each other when things were tough: the result was getting to this point. It is hard knowing we believed there was more in store for us, but at the end of the day, I am forever grateful for getting to experience this level of love, passion, and discipline. 

    What I’ve Learned

    In this reflection, there’s a lot to learn about yourself. I ask myself what mentalities did I carry that helped me get here? What was important in this run we made? I conclude that I learned lifelong lessons of discipline, focus, sisterhood, and confidence. Moving forward, I hope to continue with these lessons and channel my passion for basketball toward my other dreams. I think I’m finally coming to terms with the idea that this was never the end of the road. I hope you can too, because there’s so much more to be done.


    Check out Junior Year: A Reflection here!

  • Articles, Sports

    Basketball in Society

    Basketball is one of the most popular sports in America. It is played at all levels, from elementary school to the professional…