It was 24 years ago that I started my freshman year at Furman University. Clearly, times have changed since this pic was taken, but I still felt compelled to share this as I watch so many girls start their college golf careers.
There is so much about my 4 years in college that I would do differently yet so much about it that I absolutely loved, enjoyed, and embraced to it’s fullest. Still, I also know that everything about my life has led me to where I am today and the person I have become so I take the regrets with the blessings and use them in as positive a way as possible now. But if I could sit down beside that 18-year-old freshman on her freshman dorm bed and tell her a few words of wisdom (even tho I know her stubborn butt wouldn’t have listened) these are some of the things I would have told her:
1️⃣ Take these 4 years to MATURE and GROW, don’t continue to make the same decisions and mistakes over and over.
2️⃣ Find friends who will be a POSITIVE influence on you. The people you choose to be around will have a major impact on you. Choose them wisely.
3️⃣ Be a POSITIVE influence on the people around you. You are going to leave an impression on a lot of other people, especially as an athlete.
4️⃣ Say NO to the things that don’t reflect your VALUES. Yes, it’s college so please have the time of your life, but don’t compromise who you are.
5️⃣ You are a student-athlete. You are held to a higher standard than regular students. Your time must be spent wisely! You have to take care of yourself and your body. Get sleep. Eat well. Manage your time. Don’t try to do it all. Saying no is ok. Use your resources. Asking for help is a good thing.
6️⃣ You may have EARNED an athletic scholarship as a junior golfer, but now you must UPHOLD all that comes with that commitment. That was the end of one journey and a new one begins now.
7️⃣ Your coaches and teammates will count on you to give 100% effort. If they are upset that your choices and actions (both on and off the golf course) are not allowing you to give 100% to the team, don’t blame them.
8️⃣ You are now on a team with girls who are really good. Don’t let that intimidate you but humble yourself so that you can be open to all opportunities you will have to learn and get better! Stay confident in yourself but embrace the competition.
9️⃣ Remember, that you have been given this opportunity to BETTER yourself. You have BIG goals for your future in golf. You have beautiful golf and training facilities. You have coaches and teammates who care about you. You are at a school that your parents could never afford but they worked hard to provide you an avenue to play golf so that you could attend a school like Furman and play for such a prestigious women’s golf program. Take advantage of what you have in the next 4 years that will make you BETTER as a student, an athlete, and a person.