Today is November 6 2017. Your a senior and your last fall season is coming to an end. With the season slowing down, you have some time to reflect on where you are at in your life.
I remember being on Spring break in Alabama earlier this year with senior teammates who were stressing about the next step in their life.
One of my closest teammates, someone who was the biggest source of support for me, was planning her life after graduation.
Season is fast approaching and when that time comes, you want to have the next steps of your life as much in order as you can.
My teammate stressed the fact she wished she was more on top of her graduate school applications in November and December, way before she needed to apply.
Nevertheless, after all the stress and worry, she is happily moved on now and in grad school.
Even though this time of year is quiet for us tennis players, it is the time of year as a senior where you have some time to think, reflect and make steps towards graduating.
You don’t want your final season to be hindered by fear, worry and frustration towards what is going to happen in May.
Some of you might be feeling excited to graduate, some of you might be feeling nervous, and some of you might be dreading it.
The reality is, you might be finally feeling settled.
Your team dynamic for the first time might be perfect. You know the ropes, you are a leader in the team, and you are happy.
The thought of leaving it all behind is a daunting prospect, and one that doesn’t bear thinking about.
How did you get here? It seems like just yesterday you were in the dorms with new roommates, new food, and a new life. How can you be so close to the finish line?
Time flies by when your having fun right?
You start to appreciate the situation your in, and the fact you have a support network of teammates and friends outside of it.
How am I going to leave all this behind?
At first you are going to feel lost, alone, and you are going to have to start all over again, wherever you go.
If you are going back to your respective country, everything you knew before will have changed and friends will have moved on.
Whether you move to another state for graduate school, you will have to start again, it is not easy.
About three years ago, you stepped on a plane to fly halfway across the world to start a new life. Since then you have made a life for yourself, found friends, and found a like-minded group of people who you can relate to.
Starting again, just four years later, is only closing a chapter and opening a new one.
It does not mean you can’t return or ever see the people you spent your college years with. It does not mean you will never find friends again, and it does not mean you wont be successful in the future.
You have been successful within your athletic career or you would not be where you are today. But things are about to change in a few months, and you have to be open.
Be open to new experiences, new successes and new failures.
Enjoy and experience as much as you can within the next few months. Make sure the second that last match is over, you have no regrets.
You know you put every last ounce of energy into the season. That you gave everything to your teammates on and off the court, because you will never get this time again.
You don’t want to look back and wonder what you could have done more, or wish you can turn the clock to make changes.
It is important that you are ready to embrace changes in your life and not expect too much from yourself.
Be prepared for the days where you feel lost. The days where you have no direction, and the days where you wish you had your team around you.
But what would life be without new experiences?
Moving on is just the next step. Don’t overcomplicate it and feel down at the thought of leaving the life you know so well.
You will look back in a few years and only remember the good times you had. You won’t sit there and remember the days where you cried for hours because you were tired and stressed.
You will remember your teammates, the nights out and the memories you made.
Don’t shut the feelings of dread about the future out. Embrace them and know that in the end, you will get where you want to be.
Journalist and and former Student Athlete Athena Chrysanthou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.