If there is one thing I struggle with in life it is caring too much about what people think of me. I am 19 years old and I am making decisions because they are the “right” decisions according to others around me. After coming to the University of Texas to play for one of the best Volleyball programs in the country, I realized that Volleyball is not my whole life. I was surrounded by unhappy girls who were not satisfied with their lives. Slowly over the course of 365 days, I started to feel the same way. I was no longer playing Volleyball for the love of the game, but merely to get through each day. My attitude changed from determined and hungry to anxious and depressed. What was this all for? – to say I was a collegiate athlete? I was counting down the days until it was over, yet bragging to people that I played for Texas. I was so amused by the title, that my beliefs and livelihood became less important. So I decided that I am done. I am done getting punished. I am done walking on eggshells everywhere I go. And lastly, I am done getting treated with disrespect.
So, after 10 years of playing the sport I truly loved, I quit.
And let me just tell you this was the best decision I ever made. For the first time in my life, I have the option to be spontaneous. In just a few months I will be packing up my things and moving to Europe for the summer. I have four years left before I have to sit behind a desk and answer to my boss, why would I do that now?
From this whole experience, I have learned a huge lesson – get out of toxic situations. Do things that you enjoy. Do things that make you happy. And lastly, wake up each morning excited for the day. Because that’s what I have now, and it rocks.