Some people have organized group sports, but I, on the other hand had tennis. Yes, sometime you play doubles so you’re not completely alone, but most of the time it is just you and your opponent. This seemingly little fact, however, is what separates the game of tennis from those around it.
Though I am now going to play at a division one university, the journey to get here wasn’t as easy as most may have it. I have played the sport since I was five years old and competitively since I was 10.
At first when I started playing tournaments, I loved it. It was in middle school when my parents didn’t really let me go out as much, so my day consisted of either going to school or playing tennis. A social life didn’t develop till high school. But it was fun! I got to travel around with my grandma and play tournaments. The best part: Win.
As I got older, the idea of spending so much time away from my friends didn’t sound so appealing. So when high school rolled around, I continued playing tennis but I stopped playing tournaments. I chose my social life instead. At the time when I didn’t know where I wanted to go with tennis that seemed like a completely fine plan.
Once my senior year rolled around I thought I had a good plan. I would attend UW and try to play tennis there. So I got into UW and the tennis coach had come to watch me play at districts. Everything appeared to be going the way I wanted. But the summer before my freshman year of college is when I learned that sometimes the path you are on isn’t the one you are meant to stay on.
Because of plans that went wrong I decided to go to Bellevue College. My plan was to go to school and play tennis at the college and I was actually really excited about it.
Plans going wrong and BC being my only option turned out to be the best thing for me. I was able to refocus my goals and reevaluate what I wanted to do with school and tennis and get to start over in a way.
I knew I wanted to play upper division tennis and I got the chance to try and make that happen. But because I chose my social life over everything during high school, I didn’t have the same credentials as all the other players wanting the same thing. I knew I could beat top ranked players but I didn’t have any way of proving it.
I then used the summer before the 2011-2012 school year to play as many tournaments as possible to get my name out there. I also made a recruiting video compiled with all my different strokes. While most players either already knew where they were going or showed interest to only a few schools, I sent my video and tennis resume to 34 division one schools across the country and only about three showed interest.
Though that wasn’t the best results one could ask for, it was all I needed because Boise State University was one of the three.
I was able to visit the campus in November of 2011, where I met the coach and all the current players on the team. We all hit it off instantly and I could really see myself there next year, all I had to do now was wait to see if a scholarship was in my future as well.
It was six long and grueling months before I heard the fantastic news that I would be offered a full-ride scholarship for playing on the team. Words really can’t describe how I felt in that moment, but I definitely knew that my goals were going to be achieved.
Bellevue College really was the best plan-gone-wrong that could have ever happened to me. It made me realize that sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to or you get dealt cards that mean you may have to work harder than the person sitting next to you but that is okay.
If you have the determination and if you have the drive, you really can achieve anything you set your mind to no matter what it is.
Good luck to all the college athletes out there and pretty much everyone in general who has dreams of being bigger than what they are now.