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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace Pleasantville chapter.

Some of my earliest memories are of playing lacrosse. I recently found pictures of me at the age of 2 running around my front yard in my Easter dress, dragging along a lacrosse stick, and others of my friends and I, barely kindergarteners, battling for ground balls at our first lacrosse clinic. Looking at these pictures brought back great memories, some that I had totally forgotten about until a month ago and made me reconsider quitting at all.

During my senior year of high school, I had a lot on my plate. Obviously so does everyone at that time, especially with college looming closer and closer. My families biggest issue, however, was money for college. While I had done well in high school, during my freshman year my family had gone through a rough patch with my mother’s health. She fought stage 4 melanoma for three years before passing away during my freshman year, leaving heavy financial burdens on my father, and by default, though I didn’t know it at the time, me. However, three years later it had finally hit me that having only one income in my family would not allow for me to really attend college. So going into my senior year, I had already picked up one job in retail and was considering taking on a second, just to make sure I could attend college.

As lacrosse season loomed closer, I found myself genuinely thinking about quitting the sport, just so I could keep my jobs. In high school, balancing a job and a sport like lacrosse in the same season is next to impossible, especially as a varsity starter. I was terrified that my coach would dock playing time if I had a shift, and I was terrified that my bosses at work wouldn’t consider me a valuable worker or take away my recent promotion due to always having conflicts with lacrosse. All I wanted was to be able to pay for college and play the sport I had loved for 16 years of my life, and it seemed nearly impossible to me.

The closer it got to signing up for lacrosse, the more reasons I began to find for not continuing. My two best friends on the team were quitting, for various reasons, the other girls were not as close to me anymore, the team dynamic was changed, coach was rough on us from time to time last season and my mental health could not handle it, the list went on and on, and on top of this, I was still so nervous about not being able to pay for college. I finally spoke to my coach and offered to stay on as a statistician when I could, but ultimately I would not be returning for my senior season.

At the time, it took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I was able to work as many hours as I wanted to at both jobs, I could focus more on my family and friends and had time to spend with nearly everyone that I wanted. I had no conflicts with sports and other activities that I wanted to participate in, and for prom, I didn’t have the terrible sunburn/tan lines that I had the year before. I was able to stat for lacrosse, which allowed me to still watch and enjoy the game I loved and that somehow made it all better for me.

Now though, looking back on my senior year, something was missing. As much as I do admit that my senior year, and the summer following it, were the some of the best experiences of my life, I do wish that lacrosse had been more of that experience. As I balance everything here at college, I’ve begun to understand that putting all that stress on myself senior year of high school was not worth missing out on what was the best season my girls’ high school team has seen in years. Playing a sport that I loved, and still love, would have been worth every stressful second, just so I could have been out on the field for my last time, and understanding that I was finally saying goodbye to it after 16 years. That closure, for me, would have been worth everything.

Emma Legacki

Pace Pleasantville '22

Freshman biochemistry major who loves watching Netflix,hanging out with her friends, and discovering new music. Closet nerd, passionate activist, and food lover.