The transition from middle school to high school was a change that I was not ready for. I had always been a good student, but high school brought challenges that I had to learn to conquer throughout my high school life. A move to a neighboring city forced me to attend a different high school than all of my middle school friends, and I was forced to leave all of the friends I had made over the past 8 years. Needless to say, my grades suffered. I wasn't used to the workload that the IB program I joined the freshman football team in an effort to channel my middle school days of P.E football and to try to find a sport that I enjoyed playing where I could make some friends in the process.
I hadn't had any previous experience in football besides my days on the middle school playground. Practices were long and left me exhausted. As all of the other kids were picked up by their parents, I prepared myself for the long walk home. With my father working and my mother unable to drive, walking was my only method of transportation after a long day of school and practice. In addition to that, my lack of experience showed on the field and I quietly watched on the sideline for most of the season.
By the end of the season, I had a choice to make. Accept my short run in high school athletics or continue on for next years season. I chose the latter option. Beginning in January, I began to work hard in the weight room and gained about 20 pounds of muscle. Sophomore year proved to be a big improvement over freshman year, as I had began making new friends and getting used to the new environment. were slowly. I applied the drive I had found to succeed in football to academics, and my grades were slowly starting to improve. I seemed to have a sudden revelation that I could not simply expect good grades with little effort like I did in middle school; I had to challenge myself in academics and athletics to succeed. I came home from school tired, but resisted the temptation to do...
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