A Letter to my High School Freshman Self

Photo Courtesy: Lola Gomez, Daytona Beach News Journal

Dear Me,

You’re about to start your freshman season. This is the beginning of your high school swimming career, and you’re brimming with hope. Your head is swimming with dreams of championships and best times, new friends and teammates, and goals to impress the coach glaring at you for still being on the pool deck.

Of course there have been and there will be other teams, but as you move on to wherever else this sport takes you, I want you to remember and appreciate this one.

In no other team will you find such a diverse group of people – diverse in their motivations, abilities, and skills –  all dedicated towards a common goal. Whether they are a highly competitive club swimmer, someone who swims for the simple love of the sport, or a teenager looking to fulfill an athletic requirement – all is forgotten in the pool.

In practice and in meets you are all working towards a common goal. You are all striving for personal and team success, putting in effort with the simple goal of bettering yourselves. And come championships, whether you are in the pool or on the deck, the energy is palpable as the noise of your teammates cheers and hollers fill the air. To witness such a group of people come together, irregardless of their personal grievances and struggles, in pursuit of a common goal is nothing short of inspiring.

This team will also lead you to meet inspiring people, those you may otherwise have never met. It is through this team that you will make some of your closest friends. We often forget how many amazing people surround us. As swimmers, our lives do not normally extend far from the pool, yet your high school team will do something amazing in that it will bring all these people together. A diverse group of people bring with them diverse perspectives.

Lastly, you will make friendships on your high school team that will prove to be some of the most valuable friendships you will ever have in your life. Through this high school swim team you will find that you have gained more than just a network of teammates and friends, but a group of peers and confidants.

These are friends that will be next to you, not just in the lane, but in the classroom and beyond. They will be the ones to save you a seat at the lunch table, as well as drag you through that threshold set. The friends you make on this team will make sure you are never alone– they will be there for you during one of the most stressful times of your life and, in turn, you will be there for them.

I know there seems like an entire lifetime of swimming in front of you; an eternity of memories and stories. But before you know it, you’ll have blinked, and you will find yourself the one standing at the bottom of the bleachers welcoming YOUR team to your final season. You’ll find yourself beginning to prepare thank you’s and goodbyes as you get behind the blocks, knowing each start is one closer to your final one. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself sitting at a desk writing letters to yourself in the hopes of preserving this indescribable experience you’ve had the privilege of partaking in these past four years.

Try to enjoy it. Don’t worry about anything else because I know you’ll be great– just buckle up for the ride.

– Bryan

By Bryan Gu, Swimming World Intern.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

1 comment

  1. Monica Soliz

    Hannah Arwine Rylie Burke Kate Delaney ❤️