Life After the Field

We all know that college is a tough transition on all new students. Some make it through and others don't; sadly that’s just how it is. But the decisions made should be intentional and meant to benefit us for our future, no matter how heartbreaking it can be. This is why I left cheerleading before I entered college.

                                                                                                (Photo of Aiyana in her senior cheer uniform)

 

In high school, I was an avid cheerleader and I had competed nationally during my junior and senior year. My team and I were State Finalists, League Champions and Regional Grand Champions throughout my time on the squad! Cheerleading was my life and the only thing I had known for four years. I was probably with my cheer team more than I was with my family during high school. Even though it was time consuming, it was definitely worth it. Cheerleading taught me many valuable lessons that I will take with me beyond my collegiate and professional career.

 

Even with these lessons, I still felt a little worried when I knew my time as a cheerleader was coming to end and college was going to be my next chapter. I questioned if I would adjust well without something keeping me actively involved, like cheerleading did. When it came time for tryouts, I debated if cheerleading was important enough to juggle into my new schedule. I eventually realized that I just wanted to focus on my academics, no matter how much I loved the sport. I know a lot of students play their last organized sports in high school and it is very tough to come to terms with. Knowing that something you’ve known for so long is coming to an end is terrifying, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

 

It has now been a year since I have cheered and I am surprisingly living my college years on my own terms. I participated in Fall Recruitment for CSU Greek Life  and joined a sorority and let me tell you, it was the best decision I have ever made! I wasn't very familiar with sororities prior to college, but my roommate was rushing and I figured, “What do I have to lose?”. With the absence of cheer in my schedule, I had the opportunity and free time to rush! Rushing allowed me to find my amazing home at CSU and I could not be happier. My sorority is just like having my cheer sisters here with me at CSU. I found people to talk to and trust in my sorority, which comforted me after losing that type of connection I had in cheer with my cheerleading team.

 

If I learned one thing my freshman year, it was to be active in college, rush/join clubs, go to the school festivals/events and to smile at the person next to you! Just know that the end of one chapter can be absolutely devastating, but you just have to turn the page. There's always another opportunity waiting for you, one that you would’ve never expected!

 

Photo courtesy of Photo Elements Studio