As long as you’re surrounded by great people, you’ll have a good time. That’s my mantra. Always has been. Always will be.
After all, it’s people that make for great memories. This is the case when I run for Presbyterian College, play tennis with my roommate, interned at a real estate agency, or go through classes.
Great people, great memories. It’s that simple.
It is also because of “great people” that I became a cross country runner at PC.
I first ran cross country my eighth-grade year. I had no real intentions of running, but my friends were doing it.
I thought: “Why not? Everyone else is doing it.”
I still remember my first day showing up at practice. I was a little late. Everyone thought I was going to struggle. But I came out and immediately did well on my first go at it. I surprised everyone. Myself included.
It’s always a plus to be naturally good at something. So, that helped.
Up until that point, soccer had been the sport for me. I absolutely loved it.
So, in high school, I was doing both. And I really enjoyed both. But it got to the point where I simply had to make a call.
I could either be “okay” at both sports, or I could be great at one of them.
Even though it was a tough decision, I ultimately put all my eggs in the basket of cross country during my senior year of high school.
It was official. I was a runner.
And it is because of that decision that I’m now a proud member of the Presbyterian College community.
Every athlete has dreams of being the best at their sport at some point in their life. If they say they don’t, they’re being naïve. I had those dreams. I wanted to be a star in college, maybe even a pro.
But at some point during my college days at PC, I realized that this probably isn’t the path for me. And that’s okay.
I began to look at the sport a bit differently. It was something I thoroughly enjoyed, with people I enjoyed, and it paved the way to financial as well as professional benefits. Not so bad, huh?!
Arguably the greatest thing running has taught me is the mental toughness.
People like to say that our sport is other sports’ punishment. I like the way that sounds.
The mental toughness required to run cross country day in and day out is quite apparent. I love that side of it. It’s something that benefits me in school as well as professionally.
I also love the aspect of being part of a team. Sure, you’re technically running by yourself, but going through practices and early morning workouts with some of your closest friends definitely helps.
Overcoming the toughness of this sport together kind of creates solidarity between each other. It’s probably somewhat common in sports in general, but I feel like doing cross country takes it even up a notch. Just because it is such a tough sport mentally, you know?!
But my time as a college runner is nearing the end.
I’ll be graduating early and entering the “real world” next May. It’ll be bittersweet when it happens.
Like, it’ll be sad that I’m leaving early and maybe missing out on things I would have otherwise experienced, but at the end of the day, I get to graduate and complete this crazy milestone.
I think college has equipped me with the fundamentals I need to build a great professional future. Something I very much look forward to.
You see, I have an entrepreneurial spirit. Always had one. And I can’t wait to use what I’ve learned in the classroom to build something. I couldn’t be more ready to embrace that side of mine.
But embracing it is one thing. Finding what’s right for me is a whole different story.
I’m a little conflicted on what I want to do right after college. While I’m not 100% certain which path to go down yet, I do know that financial well-being is very important to me. Having financial stability and not having to worry about if I can put food on the table is key.
And I think that will help me with my entrepreneurial aspirations as well. Personally, I don’t think being an entrepreneur means that you drain your bank accounts and go all-in right from the get-go.
Especially early on, I think it’s good to build a financial safety net that one can leverage to slowly but steadily pursue those entrepreneurial dreams.
In my case, for example, selling insurance sounds like it could provide that. My roommate last year did it and he’s kicking butt at it.
I also did some real estate sales this past summer. Another great avenue. One that I’m actually quite passionate about.
But maybe sales won’t be my first stop.
Without a doubt, my biggest passion is the outdoors. So, maybe I find a great job at a company like GoPro or become a climbing instructor.
I know it might sound like I’m all over the place but at the end of the day, it’s actually pretty straight forward. I want to be an entrepreneur. But in order to do so, I want to build financial security first. And how I establish that stability has yet to be determined.
As long as I find something that I enjoy and have, once again, great people by my side, I’m not worried. After all, you can’t put a price tag on an incredible experience. Just like I can’t put a price tag on the incredible experiences I made as a student-athlete here at Presbyterian College.
All thanks to having a knack for “other sports’ punishment”.