On November 16, 2019, I played my last ever NCAA collegiate volleyball game. It was an amazing night. My team won in five sets against one of of the top teams in our conference, almost all of the people I cared about were there, and I played a great game. And now, almost a full week later, it’s bittersweet to think about. In my four years of college athletics and ten years of volleyball as a sport, I have learned countless things. Here are some of the most important lessons I learned from being a collegiate athlete.
It Takes Hard Work
When I committed to Cal Poly Pomona, everyone told me that it would be a lot of hard work. I didn’t know how right they were. It was so much work that at times, it seemed impossible. There were so many commitments, not just practice or lifting weights. Thee was scouting, recruiting trips, mediations, academic meetings, and supporting other sports within our program. For a long time, it didn’t seem as if my time was truly my own. Playing four years of college volleyball is truly one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. But I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything in the world.
I Met My Amazing Friends
I have met some of my best friends in the entire world through volleyball. I would always look forward to practice because I would get to be with some of my favorite people ever. It truly made my four years so much better to love my teammates and look forward to seeing them. Sometimes, I’ll think about how lucky I am that every decision I have ever made has led to me being at Cal Poly Pomona at the same time as all of my friends. I am so grateful to have met everyone that I did, because of all of the amazing memories I have from my four years of volleyball.
I Learned to Time Manage and Prioritize
During my freshman year, I had to learn the hard way how to manage my time and balance everything from volleyball, grades, social life, and everything else I had going on. For every year that passed, I had more and more responsibilities for my academics and for when I starting coaching club volleyball. I had to learn how to be super organized with my time: what I had to do, where I had to be, when I had to be there, and when everything was due. I fell in love with bullet journaling, where it was my creative outlet while being organized with everything I had on my plate. I know now that no matter what, I will always be able to organize my time thanks to being a collegiate athlete.
It Was Worth It
While being a collegiate athlete was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have changed anything about it for the world. Some of my most favorite memories of my life were during my time on the Cal Poly Pomona Volleyball team. I learned so much about myself and how much I could take. I learned how to be strong, how to be grateful, and how to be humble. I found myself in the four years at CPP. It was all worth it. All ten years of my career. Every single bad memory, every bad coach, every bad experience, every bad injury. I wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.
For everyone who has supported me, I can’t thank you enough. My coaches, for constantly helping me get better and become the best player I can be. My parents, for support me through everything we ever went through. My friends for always coming to my games and cheering me on. I can’t thank all of you enough. I wouldn’t have had the amazing time I had if it wasn’t for all of you.