Finding Yourself Without Your Sport

Everyone has their niche. It may have started when you were three years old, and your mom put you in soccer, or maybe it was in high school when you joined the marching band. It became your safety net; the activity you turned to when your life was upside down. Your outlet. The place where nothing mattered but the skills you were mastering. When you were there, you felt like you belonged, like you had a purpose.  Walking across the stage at our high school graduation brought different feelings for everyone, but a lot of us left that safety net behind that day.  Entering college, we are unsure of exactly what we were interested in and even more unsure of how to go about getting involved with it. 

For me, it happened my sophomore year of college. Up until that point, dance had surrounded my life. I started when I was two years old, competed for almost 10 years, spent four years on my high school dance team and my first year of college dancing for Kent State University. As I started my second year with my safety net I was confident this was what I was meant to be doing, but soon realized that it was all too much. When I had to back away from dance, I felt like I had lost everything that I was used to. I was confused, to say the least, and felt alone for the first time in my life. I spent the next year and a half going through the motions; attending class, my weekly sorority chapter meetings and occasionally hanging out with friends. I was keeping myself busy, but I hadn't felt like I was serving a purpose like I was before. Everyone I knew was in involved in some kind of outside organization, but my problem wasn't how to get involved, it was where.

So what’s my point?

My point is...jump. Take a leap of faith. Join something you never thought you would. Talk to new and interesting people. Learn a new skill. College is about finding yourself. It’s about evaluating who you were and becoming who you’re meant to be. Your safety net is just that, a net. Something that will always pull you back. I’m not saying that you have to break the net because no matter what you are always going to be a soccer player, a dancer or a member of the marching band. But don’t let that define you. You could be a producer for the school newscast, the president of a Greek organization or a writer for your school newspaper. Whatever it may be, the most important thing is to simply be you.