This quote is pretty close to my heart since I have been in these exact shoes. I feel like as an older person, it makes a world’s difference to a younger person to be a mentor to them. Specifically, I know someone who has had such a positive impact on me since my freshman year of high school.
Lauren was my goalie my freshman year, at that time she was a senior. I met her through swim team and from there she convinced me to play water polo. I was terrified to play water polo and she dragged me to club winter practices anyways. She took me under her wing even though I was a Hellian my first year. Even after she graduated, she still kept me close even though I was probably the lame high schooler hanging out with the college girl.. Haha. When people talked about me, she’d be the first person to stand up for me. It’s the little things that she did that had the most impact on me and I will always remember it.
Even today, Lauren and I are still friends and hang out often. I’m so grateful to have a friend and an older sister like her. Although we aren’t attached at the hip or when I’m away at college, I know she is a person I can always call on a bad day and trust that she can pick me up. She is definitely one of my biggest role models and my first inspiration in water polo. She is not only a role model in the pool, but also outside of it. She teaches me how to be humble and respectful and responsible.
Lo taught me how important it is to take someone under your wing. I hope that someday, someone comes up to me and says, “because of you, I didn’t quit”. I try my hardest to keep in touch with those girls who I’ve attempted to mentor because I hope they know they are just as important to me as Lauren. Even if it’s not me, I hope that anyone has had a privilege to have their person who takes them under their wing (in anything, not just sport) because it is one of the best friendships you can build. In my case, Lauren is the reason I fell in love with polo and if there is credit to be given, she gets it for getting me to love this crazy sport. I don’t think there are many other people in this world that are more well rounded than her. Thank you, Lauren, for teaching me so much inside and out of the water. Helping me through high school and even college, you mean more to me than you’ll ever know. I look up to you like a big sister and hope you know I love you like one too! I have endless respect for her and will always love her like a sister I never had, I’m blessed she has kept me around and this close to her for so long. 🙂 I know by the looks of this friendship, it will last a lifetime.