My little brother is a rockstar. He’s less than two months shy of his 14th birthday and has never made a B or gotten a detention. He’s nice to everyone, stands up for what he believes in, and is an incredible athlete. Last year he broke his arm during a football game, and I bought him multiple video games trying to get him to stay inside. He would sneak outside to practice shooting ball.
Because of the turmoil in my family, my little brother transferred schools for a fresh start. He had a great year on the football team, and with a little prodding from a football coach, he tried out for the basketball team. Basketball has always been his strongest sport, and he came back from tryouts each day feeling confident. So when I got the text that he didn’t make the team, I was honestly speechless. The child practiced every single day this summer, used his Christmas money to purchase books like “The Vertical Jump Truth,” and took weekly private lessons for close to a year.
I was never really “cool” in school like my little brother is. In middle school I was nerdy and my interests were not the norm, so I was considered weird. On top of it all, I didn’t understand the need to get up super early every morning to cake on makeup and straighten my hair, when I was just going to sweat off the makeup and throw my hair in a ballet bun for dance lessons after school. For high school, I started at a school on the opposite end of the county so that I could have a fresh start. People were much friendlier there, and I really felt safe to be myself. I was still super into dance, and I had lessons basically 4 days a week with a ballgame on Friday. In high school, though, it was considered cool to be so dedicated to something, instead of weird! College was really where I hit my stride. I no longer danced, but I joined a sorority, which I will forever believe was one of the best decisions of my life. I realized that I wanted to be a lawyer, so just like my little brother “groomed” himself to be an awesome basketball player, I groomed myself to get into my dream law school.
My dad’s best friend is a corporate attorney, and they work closely together. He took on the mentor role for me and helped me to choose the classes that would be most beneficial to have under my belt. I gave up sleeping for studying. I became super involved in student government and other leadership and philanthropy organizations. I took the LSAT twice, and I graduated in four years. When all of my friends were going out on the night of graduation, I was working on law school applications. So when my mom called to let me know that my letter had arrived from my dream school, I begged her to open it for me while I was at work! I really didn’t know what to say when she told me that I didn’t get in. Just like my little brother had spent the past year working towards a goal, I had spent my entire college career believing that I could get into this school. I felt like all of my hard work hadn’t been worth it. And then I realized how silly that was. I did not bust my ass throughout college to let one school’s opinion of me make me give up on a dream. And I hope that you won’t either.
So to all of the kids that didn’t make the team – It’s okay. I wish I could tell you that this is the last time this will happen to you, but it probably won’t be. And that’s okay, too. The more rejection you face, the easier it is to handle. Surround yourself with supporters – people that will push you to keep going, and people that will build you back up when your confidence is dragging. And whatever you do, don’t give up on a dream that you’re passionate about. Just because one school / company / coach / naysayer doesn’t think you meet their standards, doesn’t mean that you don’t have a stadium full of supporters cheering you on!
I hope everyone is having a great Thursday! Feel free to leave words of encouragement for all of the kids that “didn’t make the team” in the comments!
P.P.S. – This post is dedicated to JLW – my rockstar 🙂
Note: All photos in this post belong to me. Please link back to this post if you choose to use them for a post. Also, this is not a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own.