This I Believe

Roxanne - Riverside, California
Entered on February 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

High School is a beginning slice of reality for students; here they will begin developing patterns that will become incorporated into their character for the rest of their lives. With so many directions to branch out in, the student is left questioning which path to take. In order to survive high school, and take away what’s necessary to succeed later in life, it’s optimal for students to involve themselves in extracurricular activities, such as high school sports teams.

For the four years of my high school career, I played on the school’s water polo team. With this, I learned invaluable lessons that continue to help me succeed today in rigorous college courses and daily routines. One of the many assets to participating in extracurricular activities is the aspect of teamwork. Learning to not only use teamwork to prosper and succeed as a team but to also enhance my learning style and ability in order to apply it to other aspects of my life helped me with schoolwork, group work, and projects..

Branching out in high school was especially intimidating for me, fearing rejection and hostility from the array of new faces. However, being on the team, I was forced to overcome that fear by reaching out to others and ultimately gain more relationships and friendships than I had thought possible. Starting to play with my high school’s water polo team made me aware of those around me, associate amongst many personalities and situations, and lead me into an easy transition to college and career opportunities.

Those looking to succeed primarily in academics, to get those grades that will undoubtedly get them into their preferred college, fear the time commitment necessary for such extracurricular activities. Even during my first day of water polo practice, the coach handed out the practice and game schedules, and my heart skipped a few beats. I sat there, wondering how I was ever going to squeeze in schoolwork, water polo, and still try to have a social life on top of that. What was I getting myself into?

As the weeks progressed, the result was not a diminishing GPA or a lack of a social life; it was actually quite the opposite. With my shrinking time schedule, I became more aware of the time, more aware of what needed to get done, and consequently created a better time-management schedule than I had previously. Those same time-management skills are the ones that I will continue to utilize for the rest of my life. With that focus, I accomplished more in the small amount of time I had than previously in the year with an open schedule. Ending my senior year with an overall GPA above a 4.0 and getting into my first choice college, I was more than proud of what I had accomplished.

I learned so much throughout the four years spent at high school, but I attribute many of the everlasting characteristics I have to the lifestyle formed by simply being involved.