Personal Life

Dear Highschool Athletes

You do not know how much you will miss the family, support, and love that come from being on a team. My first year of college has taught me so much, however, I know that the team atmosphere that my coaches have created allowed for me to be one step above everyone else. I learned so much from the short four years that I was on a team. Here is a list of things I want you to live by:
IMG_0103Drama is NOT worth the time: Every single person on your team matter. Do not leave people out, do not create cliques and DO NOT hurt your best friends on your team. The seniors and I from last year still text each other in our group message every single day. We miss each other so much and I know each and every one of us regret ever causing drama among us at some point in time. At the end of the day none of it matters, leave it behind and spend the quality time together that all of us wish we could still do.

Listen to Coach: I know it sucks admitting this to yourself, but your coach is (usually) ALWAYS right. They have been through so much, so whether they are coaching you on your stance or coaching you through a problem not even related to your sport, listen. I regret ever thinking that what I thought was more important than what coach thought. They have a plan; they wouldn’t keep coming back every year if he did not want to see your team succeed. Again, cut the attitude and listen to your Coach. Most of the time they truly know what they are talking about.

Take Practice seriously: I remember those hot days standing by the tee waiting for coach to stop looking so I could stop swinging for a second. Let me tell you, I REGRET IT. I wish I would’ve listened to my coaches and took every swing and every serve seriously. The satisfaction of having an amazing swing or serve is something I wish I could’ve sooner (or if at all) accomplished while in high school. You will never ever have the time again to just go for two hours and play the sport you love. Please please please do not take it for granted.

Do not sweat the small stuff: yeah your coach may be pissed at you on the bus ride home but please do not let that define your character. IMG_0634Buck up, and show up to practice with a good attitude. Work your butt off and prove to your coach that he does not have a reason to be mad anymore. I regret coming home at night after a bad game and dreading practice the next day, I wish I would’ve been madder at myself and allow it to make myself better instead of being mad at my coach for being mad at us.

Appreciate your parents: After a game when your parents are annoying you, telling you how much they love you, please appreciate it. I miss my parents every single day at school and I would do anything to be able to go back to a warm spring night and listen to them brag about how proud of me they are. Thank them for organizing your food for tournaments, thank them for coming to your games. They do not have to do it, but they do it for you!

Take advantage of off season workouts: when you get to college there is no one pushing you to work out. I only wish I could have had a coach setting up different work out regimens for me at school. It’s unbelievable how much those workouts and open gyms help you. I regret not appreciating them enough. Now that I am super out of shape even though I am working out it makes me realize that every single rep or lap helped make me a better athlete. Please attend as many as you can, you are only bettering yourself!

Every year is a new year: It does not matter if you were starting captain of the JV team lIMG_0143ast year. Every year is a new year. EVERY single year you need to push yourself to be an even better athlete than the year before. Show up to every practice, every open gym and every day of tryouts with the best attitude possible. Work as hard as you have possibly worked. Prove to the coaches that you are the best version of yourself that you can be. Trust me, hard work does eventually pay off, even if it does not feel like it all the time. Let the hard work you put into your athletics rub off on your other activities, whether that be your grades, clubs or home life. Everything you do needs to be 110 percent. Do not have any regrets when you walk across the stage your graduating year.

Appreciate the underclassmen: They are the next you! Raise them like you would’ve wanted to be raised. Let the freshman or sophomores know you are there for them, and remind them that they are worthy of being on the team. We get to influence the incoming athletes; we get to practice with them and teach them things that players before, taught you. It is important to play that role both on the field and off the field. Do not influence them to party or do negative things. Be a positive role model.

IMG_0104Do not ruin what you have for a party: This one is so important. Your reputation is so very crucial in the athletic world, however also the adult world. I promise you, that party is not worth it. I promise you, you can say no! Just be smart, you are a role model, and a representation of the Fowlerville Softball team.

In the end, I miss softball, volleyball and high school immensely. I do have to say though I have few regrets when it comes to my softball and volleyball careers. If you listen to my advice listed above I believe you will have few regrets as well. The athletic programs you have been so blessed to be a part of is one of a kind. Take advantage of all the opportunities these programs and school have to offer you. Make your future seasons the best ones yet. Even if that season isn’t a winning one, you will still gain more than you lost from it. Being a part of a team is something you will remember forever. Do not allow for yourself to let it slip away. Good luck this season!

Love,

Riley McGuire #22

Leadership Development · Personal Life

Freshman Year Review

I hear many students around campus talking about “how fast this school year went”. fullsizeoutput_e66I nod my head and think about how in just a short week I will be done with my first ever year of college. It went by so incredibly fast, it feels like yesterday I moved in.

Then I sit and reflect on everything that happened in such a short year and realize how much I actually went through to get where I am today. I switched my major three times, finished 35 credits, joined two organizations, accepted an eBoard position, interned at a church, switched rooms, took multiple exams, met my two best friends and found my passion all in two semesters.

IMG_1107 I battled depression and anxiety all while learning ways to cope with life away from home. I discovered what works for me when I am upset, and I have learned how not to get upset. I found myself. I learned that I was a different person than I was just a short nine months ago. I am stronger, more passionate and overall a more open minded person.

College changed me. Some ways good, some ways bad. I am a better listener, I care about people and their beliefs. I know what I want in my future and I have found friends that will stick by me. I have learned to take naps anywhere, and I have gained the confidence to go to class before even getting ready. I have also learned that the stress of college WILL make you gain weight no matter how much you work out and eat healthily. College will make you fatter no matter how much you try for it not to. IMG_0633

Something that I realized pretty early on, is how much I value my friendships at home. The people that I surrounded myself with at home, are people that I still love and cherish just as much as my new friends. I appreciate them so much. They listened to me cry, came and visited me and reminded me that home isn’t so far away when you stay in touch with the people that matter. IMG_2239My friends from home are my rocks. They have supported me in everything I have done and I cannot thank them enough.

All in all, this year in total sparked many emotions. I now appreciate my parents and family so much more. I live every day in the moment and I have met the two most amazing women that I know will be forever friends. I value life and family and friendships.

IMG_1871I also learned that college sucks. It is a phrase that every college student has mumbled at least once under their breath. College sucks, but it is also the most amazing thing at the same time. It is different, it is challenging but it is also rewarding. The late nights studying almost ruined me, the early mornings were not my favorite, the cafeteria food could have been better, some people I met were strange, not all of my professors knew my name and there are no adults around to rescue you. It is the transitional period from adolescence to a real live adult.

BUT I MADE IT. I really did. I received mostly A’s and am still on track to graduate! WOW, who would have thought? Life could not get any better than it is right now. I appreciate everything my parents, friends, and advisors did to get me where I am today. I look back to just 5 months ago where I was considering dropping out and all these people helped make sure that I made it. I owe everything to them.

This year is one I will NEVER forget. I have found who I truly want to be. I cannot wait for the three amazing years and endless opportunities ahead of me. fullsizeoutput_e6a

 

 

Personal Life

An Open Letter to the Girl Who goes Home Every Weekend

You’re the biggest hypocrite.

You spent your entire high school career working for scholarships and good grades to get into your dream school.

You spent your time not dating boys because you knew you’d find the one in college

You bragged to your friends about how you could not wait to leave home and find yourself.

College isn’t what you expected, though.

The first month was fun. You met new people. Went to class. And it was just as you imagined it.

Until you got sick. Not a physical cold, or 24-hour flu but a painful mental illness. You cry and cry and cry. You feel so alone even though you have 50+ “family” members at school rooting for you to succeed. Even though you have your loving and supportive family at home.  Even though you have three beautiful roommates who push you to have fun. Even though your professors and faculty are doing everything they can for you to succeed.

You want to go out with your friends but you can’t. You want to stay the whole weekend but you can’t. You hold back the tears, you put on the smile and you pretend to be having the time of your life. But you’re not.

Going home is nothing to be ashamed of. Your mental health is more important than the parties or the football games or the social gatherings. You take care of your brain before you take care of your expectations of college.

Crying is okay. Going home is okay. Taking care of yourself is okay. Working to be the best person you can be is okay.

People may judge you, they don’t mean to upset you. Ignore the snarky comments about how you’re going home AGAIN. They don’t understand and you shouldn’t expect them to, you didn’t understand it just a few short months ago. They don’t know the pain you go through. They don’t understand the panic attacks you experience walking into a crowded room. Or the exhaustion you experience from just attending class. Depression and anxiety are not easy.

You had it easy in high school. You didn’t fully understand the effect these horrible mental diseases have on people. You couldn’t fully understand people who didn’t want to hang out, or couldn’t physically get out of bed. But now you do.

You now have a new perspective on how mental illnesses can create an everyday struggle. Mental illness is not understood or even talked about in today’s age. It has made your transition into life at college a horrible experience, and you wish there were more options for people like you to seek help. For you, the best option at this point is to go home every weekend.

To the girl who goes home every weekend. You’re loved. God loves you, your family at school and home love you and the staff at your university love you.

Everyone handles this transition in a different way. College is about finding yourself; whether that be how you have fun or how you take care of yourself.

Even if you aren’t suffering from a mental illness it is still OKAY to go home.

Home should be your safe place. Home should be somewhere you want to go. But you also need to learn that the real world is calling and you can’t be at home forever.

But for now, do what you need to do to survive your first year at college.

I’ll be working on it, and I hope you do too.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:6-7