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Academics and sports have always been two very important aspects in my life and when I was no longer getting the grades I wanted or allowed to play sports, I was completely devastated.

In October of my sophomore year in high school, I was playing goalie in a lacrosse game and the ball was shot at my helmet multiple times. As a result, my helmet would slam back and hit me in the head. As I had already previously had three diagnosed concussions from soccer before this, I knew I had a concussion. I never liked to admit that I was injured because I always wanted to just continue playing, so I did not tell anyone and played two more games that day. Not telling anyone for a week, I played three more games in a row and it continued to happen. After those games had worsened the pain, I knew that I should tell someone.

Three and a half years later and I am still feeling the effects from that concussion. I am 18 years old and have both short-term and long-term memory loss. I cannot remember things from little inside jokes my friends and I have to my brother literally being born. School has become such a difficult thing for me, whereas it came almost naturally to me before. Some nights I will not sleep, simply because what would take some people one hour to study, would take me four. Being a perfectionist and having a brain injury are not two things that go together easily because sometimes it is just impossible for you to do everything exactly the way you want. I had to quit playing sports in fear that something like this would happen again and I would suffer far worse consequences.

In no way was getting a traumatic brain injury a positive experience, but I will say that is has taught me things that I would probably not have learned otherwise. One of the most impactful lessons I have learned is the importance of taking care of yourself. I came to the realization that it is okay to not sign up for every possible club, service opportunity, or anything else that so overwhelmingly consume your schedule. It is okay to say “no” in order for you to give yourself days off and let yourself rest. When my grades started to go down and I had to put forth so much more effort than before, I learned the importance of hard work. If you put your mind to something, it is your job to fully commit and do the best work you possibly can. With that being said, I also quickly learned that everything does not have to be perfect.

Fallon McAllister

Louisville '23

I am currently majoring in Marketing and Management at the University of Louisville where I am a member of the 2019 pledge class for Chi Omega! My hobbies include playing soccer, making earrings, and drinking coffee!
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