“Comparison is the killer of joy.” I’m not sure who came up with it but I learned it from my mom and she from hers. While I’ve heard it all my life, it never really stuck with me until I got to high school. I had always been one to compare myself and my achievements with that of my peers or teammates, but I never took those comparisons to heart or let them affect my self-confidence until high school. For whatever reason, it seemed that the stakes were higher, and I started to view my peers as competitors in a rivalry that didn’t exist. After lamenting to my parents and my advisor about this during a conference in 9th grade, my mom brought this quote up, and it really helped me change my perspective at that moment. The light may have come on in that instant, but it’s taken some time for me to internalize that quote and keep it in mind in my daily life. When your eyes are on someone else, it’s hard to recognize everything you have to be proud of yourself for.  

Ever since I first started playing basketball at 6 years old, my dream was to play Division 1 in college. I never quite set my eyes on the pros, as that would interfere with my other dream at the time, working in business like my parents. I started to take basketball seriously around the 7th grade, playing for a travel team and spending time working on my game whenever I could. When high school came around, however, I adjusted my goal to fit my academic aspirations, and I was now looking to play basketball at whatever college I had chosen for academic reasons. My passion for basketball remained the same, but a shift in mindset helped me be realistic with myself and my goals. Just this past summer, I made a decision that I think has been a big turning point in my life: I decided that pursuing a career in college basketball wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, and instead, I wanted to spend more time on other things I’m interested in like music and politics. It may not be monumental, but for me, recognizing that the world is bigger than basketball has impacted the way I spend my time and energy in a positive way. I still love basketball, and I love playing for Potomac, but making the decision to broaden my horizons was something that has been so beneficial to me since it happened.