NORTH CANTON HOOVER
COLLEGE: Vanderbilt University
As I entered freshman year, I was very hesitant, scared and uncertain of my future high school career.
Perhaps the best way to describe these feelings is to compare it to my first day of cross country:
I stepped out of my dad’s car and looked at the group of people crowded around the water trough. I searched for my fellow freshman friends and walked toward them. We all didn’t know what to expect, and we gradually got more and more nervous as we observed our older teammates’ behavior. It didn’t help that one guy mentioned to me that he had been arrested several times.
Then, I suddenly realized the number of huge, tall and muscular people who were on the team, and to top it all off, at the end of practice, two seniors saw a squirrel stuck on top of a telephone pole and proceeded to take a blowgun out of their cars to try to “dislodge the squirrel.” At this point, I said to myself: “I’m gonna die.”
But I was far away from the truth. Cross country turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. When I eventually became familiar with all of the upperclassmen, I found that they were all friendly and more than willing to talk and give advice. The sport also taught me much needed social skills, and that you can accomplish almost anything as long as you put in enough work. I would have never imagined that I would ever break the lettering time of 18 minutes, but I did just that in my senior year.
The experiences in cross country prepared me for the rest of my tenure at Hoover High School and beyond. It taught me that fun and memories can come, but only appear when you make them appear. So, just as I made the most I could out of cross country, I made the most out of everything else I did, whether it was having fun at the school dances or boring my eyes out from studying AP biology, and I hope to carry this philosophy through college and whatever else that may come.