This I Believe

Jennifer - Leesburg, Virginia
Entered on June 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

This I Believe: I Believe in Growing Up

Ever since the 3rd grade, I have competed on many levels in soccer. It has been a part of my life and a part of who I am. I have given my blood, my sweat, and my tears for my team and in return I have received so much more. Not only has soccer provided me with lifelong friends, but it has helped me grow as a person. It has taught me strength, courage, teamwork, leadership, and how to grow up.

Last night I played the last game of my high school career-the last competitive game I will ever play. I have to say that it was the hardest moment of my life. A part of me was lost. For the past 3 months I have been training with my team, working together for that one common goal—simply to win. We worked hours and days towards that goal and most of the time we achieved it but, of course, sometimes we did not. It definitely was the best season of my life and one that I will never forget. However, the end of such a thing has taught me more than I can imagine. I now actually have to grow up. I have to leave my team, which is a symbol of my life, behind and move on.

Growing up—it is a lot harder than it sounds. You start off your senior year and are so ready to graduate and go off to college. But as graduation approaches, I find myself more attached to my home than I had ever imagined. After living here for 17 years, through ups and downs, death and life, love and hate (I know this all sounds so cheesy, but it’s true), I am attached to it. I am attached to my friends, my high school, that old tree in my backyard, and everyday it gets harder and harder to leave. But that is the beauty of growing up—leaving your comfort zone behind, starting your own life, while still remembering everything that you do leave behind.

I look forward to going off to college, starting a career and a family of my own, but I will always remember my home. As graduation moves closer and my time to leave approaches, tears visit me every once in a while. Every time I shed a tear I remember the words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”