Lessons from the football field

Most people who know me know that I am a die hard fan of my alma mater Baylor University. Well this weekend, I woke up Saturday morning to my Bears being down by 20 points to UT and our third quarterback of the season out with concussion symptoms. Early in the season, I was almost sure that Baylor would win a national championship or at the very least make the College Football Playoff after our snub last year in favor of Ohio State (though to be fair, Ohio State won the championship). After Seth Russell was declared out for the season, I was thankful head coach Art Briles had trained two capable quarterbacks, but long story short, after each quarterback was injured, my hope in our playoff berth  had diminished, but my pride in my team grew. We ended up losing  to UT, but at the end of the day, while I’m devastated that Baylor won’t make the College Football Playoffs or at this point even one of the New Year’s Six bowls, I’ve still learned a lesson in resilience and drive.

It’s hard not to be proud of a team that has made comeback after comeback after so many injuries especially at the quarterback position this season. But  I’m going to have to put my Baylor pride back in its box for the time being.

All of this to say, of course I was stunned that Baylor was losing to UT, but when the dust settled, I was in awe at how much fight Baylor had put up all season after losing quarterback after quarterback and a whole mess of other players.

It’s such a great reminder any time of the year but especially during finals when it seems like it’s so hard to even think about what’s coming after. Dec. 29, Baylor’s 2015 football season will end and many of our minds will turn to basketball (if it hasn’t already). In just a matter of weeks, our academic semesters will end, for better or for worse.

As long as I’ve been in school, I have measured the success of my semester by whether I feel like I grew or accomplished something over the course of those few months. It could be academic, research, personal, work-related or really anything, but I just want to know that in some area of my life, I’m moving forward, and beyond that I’ve done my very best. I’ll admit that in some areas (academics) I haven’t felt like that in awhile, but it’s an important lesson to remember to keep powering through whatever is going on.

This past week, especially, was so trying for me to try to get everything accomplished: the majority of my applications submitted to doctoral programs, hiring management staff for the Spring semester for UTD TV and a whole host of other things. But no matter what, I knew that I had to keep trying and keep powering through whatever was going on. Watching Baylor play this season also felt like that too. Hit after hit, our players got up and kept going. Russell and Jarrett Stidham both played with injuries until they couldn’t possibly continue. It’s really a great example of what it means to do whatever it takes.

I’ve been struggling in certain aspects of my life to continue fighting. I feel like nothing I do is right, and I just keep failing — every time I try to do something, I get backlash or I get yelled at — and it’s made me lose the passion I once had. More than a few times, I have had the overwhelming desire to just give up, but I know that I have to get back up and keep fighting. I’m not sure which way to keep fighting, but I do know that I have to wake up, put one foot in front of me and continue working towards my goals.

On Dec. 29, I’ll be at home celebrating the holidays with my parents, but Baylor football will travel to Orlando where it will face off against No. 10 UNC in the Russell Athletic Bowl. I hope that we have a scholarship quarterback at the reigns again, but regardless, I couldn’t be more inspired by the fight our team has put up all season, and I hope I can apply those same skills of perseverance and hard work in my life.

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