COLLEGE: U.S. Military Academy
As I was coming up through middle school, I had heard that specialization was the route to pursue in high school. For example, if a student wanted to achieve the highest level of academic success, that is what they should focus most of their energy and time on. Likewise, if a student wanted to be an athlete in high school, they should focus almost all their time on one sport, and perhaps just play a second one to stay in shape for the other.
Being an eighth-grader, and not really knowing what to expect from high school, this was an intimidating prospect. I had never “specialized” in anything my whole life. It seemed as if I was always on the move, traveling from baseball practice to a hockey game or from a baseball game to a band concert. Specializing was just never my thing, and it was a scary thought to think I might have to give something up.
Thankfully, as an indecisive 14-year-old, I couldn’t make up my mind, so I just chose to not give up anything and see how it worked out for my freshman year. Four years later, I can say I think I made a good decision, or indecision for that matter. Playing three sports and being in the band in high school has made my experience better than I could have ever dreamt.
I have had so many great memories with all of my teams and teammates, as well as classmates and fellow band members. If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
This is the biggest piece of advice I wish to pass on to incoming freshman and anybody still in high school: Don’t think you have to specialize in something to have success at it; you can still do other things; don’t limit yourself. Just pour your heart and soul into everything you do, and you won’t have any problem at all achieving all you want to achieve during your high school years.