In the fall of my junior year, I was experiencing many hardships. Varsity Football caused multiple wounds to my body, especially my head. Every night when I got home, I was unable to stay awake because of the combination of headaches, lack of sleep and stress from school. Eventually, these headaches escalated to throbbing migraines.
At the first quarter, the headaches from the constant hits took a drastic toll on my academics, especially in my AP Spanish and AP English courses. I was not able to read and study, or comprehend the information that was sitting right in front of me. I received a progress report stating that I had an F in each class. I was devastated seeing my GPA drop down to a 2.8 but I was unwilling to continue on this path of destruction.
I had an important choice to make- stay in football, “the love of my life”, or quit to prevent future harm to my course of higher learning and health. I chose to sacrifice my passion for Varsity Football due to the health effects and possibility of jeopardizing my potential success in academics. Quitting my football team was painful and uncomfortable. This loss also hurt psychologically and socially. I was shunned for this action by my teammates because they relied on me as the starting outside linebacker, backup quarterback, backup inside linebacker and kickoff. Although the decision took a toll on me, I believed that I made the right choice. Taking a proactive stance in life helped me evaluate what was most important. I valued the choice I made because I could see the positive outcome quickly and my health was no longer a concern of mine.
During the second quarter of my fall semester, the headaches stopped and I was able to focus in class and successfully complete tasks. However, football left a void in my life- I missed the adrenalin, the competition, the exhilaration of running on the field. But spring came and track season was upon us. I was reunited with my source of adrenalin. I was able to overcome the loss of football by appreciating my drive to academically succeed and the ability to take control and make changes to my life.
Towards the end of my junior year, I received a final confirmation that I had made the right choice when I received an invitation to the Honored Argo Award. Each teacher on campus was allowed to select one student who best represented the spirit of Pride, Performance, and Pursuit of Excellence. I was selected by Mr. Yoshida, one of the most respected teachers on campus, not only for the dramatic comeback in my grades but my attitude and heart.
It was the toughest year but also the best year. The 3.8 GPA was rewarding. The recognition was encouraging. But most of all, the lesson of making tough choices and learning to adjust my plans to achieve a greater good was priceless.