I write this letter to my future college roommate with the intention of giving him/her a better understanding of who I am.
It's a Sunday, I get home from our first outdoor workout for football and I think about how my senior year on the football team will turn out, will it be the same as how it always has been? All-stars trying to fight each other about being a leader and talking with whoever is within distance about how the freshman can't catch a ball and doesn't even have cleats on. Will the coaches talk nonstop about how excited they about hitting season, will it be the same? Then it hit me. When I went to practice that day and saw all the incoming freshman, I thought of myself during my freshman year, coming to the first practice with the appearance of no athletic skills what-so-ever, Asian, short, clueless. I saw myself when I saw all the incoming freshman today, nervous, questioning what the coach was really even yelling about. My footprints were being followed.
I was terrified when entering high school, especially a school where only a fraction of my friends were tagging along, but still, I was worried. I didn't really have a club or athletic team that I really wanted to join, I was lost. One of my friend's somehow convinced me to come play on the high school football team, I have never played full contact football, nevertheless even have touched a football helmet. Next thing I know, it was the first day of practice, my helmet and pads were in one hand and my cleats in the other. I still felt like the outlier, I had my best friends on the team, but I was still nervous. I was seen as that player who was forced to join because my parents said I had to do something during the summer.
After my first year on the football team, I stuck with it and did anything I could to get better. My junior varsity year I was given the opportunity to be the starting receiver, I didn't expect myself to be the all-star, but I just wanted to be respected. During my sophomore year and junior year, I began to realize that football was not just a sport that was great because of its contact, or how many fans it could gather, but just the way it brings different types of students together, from the students who had nothing to do and just followed their classmates, the students who did it for the girls and popularity, the students that were shooting for college football and beyond, and then there was me. I stood out, I wasn't like my teammates, but I managed to connect with them every single practice. I had fun with my team. When you look at me, I was never the player to look the part, I was the short little Asian kid who never had a chance in contact sports, I was part of the Science Olympiad team and I wasn't considered a jock. Football has not only taught me that hard work will bring success, but that it has shaped me to spread out among the classmates I interact with, it has shaped me to be able to talk with teachers that I just met, it has shaped me to try new things in life for the sake of curiosity.
So here I am, I ask myself, what do I want to gain from all that I have done for the past three years? Do I want to be the player that was looking for that football scholarship? Do I want to be that player who did it for varsity letter and jersey? No, I wanted none of those things. I have always been told that what makes a person great is what you can influence upon others, and that is exactly what I want, I want to prove the clichĂŠ that hard work will always work harder than talent. That respect can only be earned through what you can do in the present and how you use it for your future. That experiences like high school football is just a step towards what one wants in life. I have learned all this from experiencing the connection among so many of my classmates.