A Successful Start

With my long-awaited senior season as a tennis player for the University of Georgia starting this past weekend, I want to share a bit about what it all means to me today.

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When people say, “time flies”…they aren’t kidding at all. The past three years have been a dream come true, but they have truly “flown by.” As a student-athlete at UGA, I have not only been able to attend one of the most prestigious public universities in the country, but I have also been able to play for one of the most storied Division I women’s tennis programs ever.

This past August came fast, school started up again, and it was hard for me to accept the fact that I was the senior on the team with it all ending in May (it seemed a bit further away at that point). Of course I was enjoying my time, but I was letting it all happen much too quickly. I had some very important advice given to me around November, and it is advice I will never forget. The advice was to live for myself, to live to grow and become the person I want to be, and to use this senior year to get to know myself even better and to leave confident with what I stand for and why. It allowed me to slow everything down and really enjoy my time left in my role as a student-athlete. You see, tennis has been my life for the past fifteen years. I have dedicated close to all of my time out of the classroom to becoming the best tennis player I could be. But I had been caught thinking too much about how my life would be so different come May. Until, with this help, I realized that much more important than that was being able to really enjoy the few months left of this journey and grow throughout that time.

We are now a day away from February, leaving me with about four months left of this walk in my life. But I am at peace with that! We had a very successful start to our season this past weekend with two home wins to book us a ticket to the National Indoor Championships in New Haven, Connecticut next week. I can truly say that I just enjoyed every second of both doubles and both singles matches I played this past weekend. No match felt too long or frustrating no matter what the circumstances were. I was just enjoying every moment of it, slowing it down, and taking it all in. When I look at the picture posted below from this past weekend, I see every part of me just enjoying competing, which is what I do best. This weekend was not only a successful start to our season with two wins, but it was a successful start to the growth I will experience throughout the season due to the challenges the game of tennis and the game of life present me.tennis

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Where is the Love?

 

Politics have been a hot topic in the United States lately and the majority of Americans (and non-Americans for that matter) have expressed their feelings all over social media. Just when the political comments started to die post election, Donald Trump was inaugurated this past Friday, and the internet was flooded with even more hateful comments and remarks. Many use the internet and social media as a platform to share their feelings and thoughts- I am doing exactly that right now. However, I do not believe that all the hate is helping create any sort of unity in this country. Regardless of political stance, we should be promoting love, not hatred. We should accept that not everyone will ever agree on politics, and our preferred candidate will not always win. But when the election is over, that is not in our control anymore, so why are people continuing to complain about it? How is the hate and divisiveness going to help our country and our people unite? It will not. All it is doing is pulling us further apart.

I read an article last night that showed the demoralizing tweets sent out about Donald Trump’s son, Barron. One tweet was sent out by now suspended SNL writer Katie Rich saying, “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.”katie

Who can feel good about themselves after posting such hatred comments about an innocent boy who is just living with the hand that was dealt to him? Or as the article mentioned, how would those people who shared such nasty comments feel if that was said about their child, sister or brother? Barron Trump is a ten year old boy who is innocent and should not be publicly harassed. What is wrong with these people? Don’t they have anything better to do or anything more positive to talk about rather than bashing our President’s young and naive son? I urge each of you, whether you are Donald Trump’s biggest fan or the farthest thing from it, to look for positive news to share each day. If you cannot seem to share positive news about him, then stay away from sharing the news at all.

It makes me sad to see all of the hate and negativity surrounding our new President. Regardless of what he has said or done in the past, the American people chose him to lead our country. He may be flawed, but news flash: we all have flaws. He wants what is best for the United States of America, and we need to be supportive. We may not agree with his political views or his plans for our country, but the least we can do is hope for his and our success. Give him a chance to lead and to change our country for the better! May we look to love and unity instead of hatred and division throughout such a time where Americans have become engulfed in a negative world on social media. My wish is for all of us to look to spread positivity and hope we can change the stigma that all news is bad news. Let us make social media a platform for sharing our love and the most positive news we have!

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Create Meaningful Relationships

Our team arrived at the Dan Magill Tennis Center for 9:30am practice this past Saturday morning. Shortly after, our head coach announced that we would watch a fifteen-minute video together before practice began. Little did I know that this video would have such an immediate impact on my outlook on technology and social media in today’s world. The video highlights British/American motivational speaker and marketing consultant Simon Sinek speaking on “Millenials in the Workplace.” I HIGHLY suggest taking fifteen minutes of your time to watch this video:

Throughout the video, my eyes were quickly opened to how much of an addiction technology and social media are to our generation, the millennials. Many kids are not learning how to form meaningful relationships. When stress comes about in these kids’ lives, they don’t turn to people, they turn to their cellphones or to social media, which only provide temporary relief. Simon Sinek’s point was that there’s nothing wrong with social media except the IMBALANCE of it. Too much of anything…alcohol, gambling, technology is not good. It is an addiction. The minute we get consumed with this addiction, we forget to focus on the important things in life such as our relationships with our family, friends, teammates, etc. Social media and technology infiltrate our lives and there are certainly many benefits to the advancements that have been made, but we must be careful to keep a healthy balance.

After watching the video together, we sat down as a team and talked about the effects of social media and the addiction that most of us all have. We see it in everyday life–we get in an elevator with people we don’t know and immediately look down at our phone to avoid awkward eye contact or conversation. Here is a perfect example of missing out on forming a connection or a relationship with another human being because of turning to technology and social media as an escape. As we brought up examples, I mentioned that we are a close team, only 9 girls, and we all know each other very well. However, by sitting on our phones in the locker room during the ten minutes before practice starts, we are missing out on the opportunity to talk to one another and deepen our relationships. We may think we know everything about each other, but there is always more to learn. If we are consumed in social media on our phones, we may miss the most obvious warning signs that friends or teammates need us to be there for them.

Although this social media marketing example may be highlighting some of the problems with social media today, it is important to realize its extreme effects. My hope is that we are able to use social media in good balance and that we keep forming meaningful relationships with one another. As an effort to make small improvements, I chose to deactivate my most frequented form of social media, Snapchat, for the time being. My advice to you all is to take the time to turn your phone off, leave it at home, look UP and create new and meaningful relationships.