self reflection

A Letter to a New University Athlete

HEY IT’S SIMI

For the last 2 years I have had the amazing opportunity to train as a university athlete. However, while still in high school, I saw the transition as daunting. I was recovering from an injury, didn’t know many people who were wrestling in university and I had hardly stepped foot on a campus. Beyond the athletic side of things, I was terrified that the academics would be too overwhelming in and of themselves. All in all, I was racked with doubts and questions. Reflecting on how I must have been feeling this time two years ago, here is what I would have liked to have been told:


Dear You,

First of all, congratulations on all that you have done up until this point. You’re in the final stretch of many years of early mornings and seven hour days and you should be proud of all that you’ve accomplished in that time. I know you’ve got your sights set on what’s next but never forget that you’re doing a good job.

University. It’s easy for something full of so many unknowns to seem scary. Trust me when I say that it’s not as bad as it seems but more than that, trust yourself.

You are perfectly capable of mastering all that is ahead of you. First year is made up of just that, people in their first year who know just as much or less than you do about what this journey has in store. The only way to really get ahead is to believe in yourself. Start actively combating any thought that might be holding you back. Respond to and challenge your negative thoughts with hope and confidence.

From my own experience with university, here is what I’ve realized about the areas in which I was worried I would flounder:

Academically,

The material is made for someone coming out of high school and with appropriate effort, you will excel. You are more capable than you realize and deserve to be where you are. Stay on top of things and NEVER hesitate to make the most of every resource in place to help you. Do your studying on time and in help centers, ask questions, and be excited when you can be.

Athletically,

I have found that in the right environment, you don’t have to be the fastest, most experienced, or most technical to be a great wrestler. To have a good experience all you need to do is show up and be ready to be coached. Don’t be afraid of being happy to be training where you are! Coaches will appreciate an athlete that is coach-able and carries a good attitude - you do not have to be the best. Even if the environment is not all that it could be, you can change your environment with positivity and character instead of being changed by it. But trust me when I say that regardless of how terrible you might think you are starting out, stick to it and you will admire all that you will do. It’s not over until you give up.

Socially,

Be yourself and find the joy that you have within you. The more at peace you are with who you are, the more beautiful the people you attract.

So in short, it will all be okay.

With love,

Simi

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