“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once” – Albert Einstein
I consider myself to be a fairly accomplished organizer. I can usually prioritize things pretty easily, or perform a “clean sweep” if you will. Give me an exploding closet or a messy desk, and I can most likely sort through the junk and color coordinate the rest. With this in mind, it’s hard to believe that I would have such a hard time prioritizing the huge things revolving about my life, but I have to say that I really struggled with balance and priorities this past year.
My struggling was mostly due to one single activity that has been looming over my head since freshmen orientation week- tennis. Fun fact- I’ve been playing tennis since I was 7 years old, traveling to and competing in tournaments every other weekend, and constantly working on improving my game, ranking, and performance throughout high school and college. For almost all of my life, most (if not all) of my energy outside of school went into tennis, and I was unbelievably proud and grateful when I found out that I would be able to play for Hopkins this past year. While I’m appreciative of what tennis has given me and I realize that the sport has molded me into the person that I am today, I’ve come to the realization that I need to back off of tennis for a while. There are so many reasons that I’ve decided to leave the team, but when it comes down to one thing, it’s time.
College is an exhilarating experience- there’s an abundance of cool professors to meet, quirky clubs to join, life-changing classes to sit-in on, not to mention a ton of diverse, passionate people to become friends with. With all of the opportunities that college has to offer, especially at Hopkins, it’s quite difficult to choose just a few things to become involved in. My biggest problem during freshmen year was finding enough time in the day to do everything that I wanted to do, on top of my hectic academic schedule, on top of a 2-3 hour practice. I knew that I had a problem on my hands when I started to feel as if I needed to skip practices in order to study for exams or make it to mandatory club meetings. I felt as if I simply did not have enough time to give my 100% to anything- ranging from homework to practice to research or even to sleep. It’s beyond exhausting to feel as if your best isn’t good enough and that’s exactly how I felt when I realized that I really couldn’t “do it all”.
After thinking over my freshmen year time and time again, I’ve decided that tennis was one of my biggest stress factors. Because of this, along with its major time component, I’m ready to put tennis aside for a while in order to focus on my biggest dream of all, getting into medical school. While making this decision was one of the hardest things that I’ve had to do, I know that it’s the right one because I already feel more in control. For me, one of the weirdest things about college is that you are completely on your own, and you have the ability to create your own life for yourself. If you stick too much to what you’ve known or what you’re comfortable with, there isn’t really a way for you to grow as a person. Deciding to drop tennis for a while to focus my energy on pre-medicine has already helped me define exactly who I am and who I want to be. My advice to the incoming class of 2016 – try to find your passion and utilize it in order to get where you want to go. We only have four years at this amazing university, so let’s make the most of our time here.
All My Best,