The life of a student-athlete entails much sacrifice and plenty of restless days. Whether frantically finishing homework following an all-day competition or dreading to begin a project as injuries are tended to, such a lifestyle is not suitable for the fainthearted. In realizing the amounts of work that is demanded of the student-athlete, one can indubitably feel overwhelmed. However, levels of preoccupation and tension lessen considerably when organization guides the daily course of action. Implementing a set of long-range goals, in any realm from academics to athletics, is essential to attaining success. In setting educational goals to be reached, I strove diligently to achieve those high standards and, eventually, realized them.
As a young, elementary school kid, I wanted to grow up to be any one of three things: fireman, doctor, or professional athlete. If the day was unbearably warm, as it usually was during the non-winter months in the Los Angeles Basin, I thought being a heroic firefighter would be a great occupation. If recess involved a cut from a fall onto the blacktop or a scrape from a viciously thrown dodgeball, the image of helping others physically surfaced into my mind. During the football season, boyhood dreams of playing in the National Football League were envisioned. Yet, as I matured, I realized that vacillating between playful whims would inevitably result in boredom. I began to understand that my decisions needed more substantial reasons and purposes. I had to formulate concrete ideas that had an objective to be reached in the long run.
As I reached the junior high years, there were circumstances that I had yet to experience. I was accustomed to having my basic needs met by parents, i.e. food, clothing, and shelter being provided. Then, my father, unpredictable and most of the time, unintelligible, began to make it a habit not to fully meet the fundamental necessities of his children. I must admit that it was hard to undergo such unfamiliar situations such as worrying about tuition payments and looking to friends to provide attire to wear. I was bent on attending a Catholic high school since I knew that it would allow me to attain success. Because my father was as adamant about me attending the local public school, I figured that it would just be a monthly struggle to eventually make him meet the costs. For most of the first half of my high school career, this was the case. But one month before the conclusion of my sophomore year, my father never sent the payment. I was ultimately forced to use my entire life's savings to allow my graduating brother and I to finish the year. Aware that my family situation was not improving, more incentive to maintain a straight and narrow path to success was given.
I looked at the different steps of education as stepping-stones, with my work in high school earning my way to college. One institution I had particularly in mind was perhaps the world's most renowned Catholic...