For those that aren’t into sports or college athletics, redshirting is where you omit one of your seasons. This can be for a number of reasons; injuries or simply because you want to have a year of training and get used to playing a college sport while handling all the other aspects of college life. I redshirted my freshmen year of college because my team had about 18 girls and there was no way I was going to be setting foot on the court. It was a hard decision but it was the right one. My freshmen year I got the opportunity to train with the the amazing upperclassmen and truly become a better student-athlete. But spending five years in college was not part of the game plan for me.
So, after a lot of thought I decided to graduate on time next spring and that this upcoming season will be my last. And you know what? I am so happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my team, my school, and the community I’ve been lucky enough to go to college in but I’m ready to move on. I’ve given volleyball the past 14 years of my life and I want to do something else. It took me a long time to understand that there’s nothing wrong with that. This wasn’t something I decided on a whim either. I thought about it for months but I always felt like I owed something to my team, my coaches, and my family but then it clicked one day that none of them are living my life. I have to grow up and make decisions for myself because at the end of the day, I’m the one that’ll be living with my decisions. This is what I want and I don’t think I’ve ever been more sure of something in my entire life (21 years, I know not a long time but still). Moving on is OKAY. I hate the fact that people are afraid to go after what they want because they’re scared of letting someone else down. DO WHAT YOU’RE DREAMING ABOUT. You don’t need to burn bridges but you owe it to yourself to go after what you want in life. If that means you have to let some people down on the way, let people down! I guarantee you will never please everyone in your life, but you can make yourself happy by following your dreams. If your dream is to play professionally, do it. If it’s to travel for a year, do it. If you want to become a kick ass doctor or lawyer, do it. I’m not saying it’s going to be a walk in the park once you decide what you want to do but it’ll be a hell of a lot easier to work hard for something if you love what you’re working towards. I’m terrified of moving on and not having the safety net of time or volleyball on my side but I’m more terrified of being so passive in my life that I’m too scared to go after what I want.
I’m not saying this is the choice for everyone, but it was the choice for me. I don’t consider this quitting, this is me moving on – growing up and I couldn’t be more ready. See ya next year New York, you have no idea what’s coming 😉