The Cavalier Daily
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PARTING SHOT: Dreams change and that’s okay

<p>One of the most valuable things I pushed myself to do during this time was to apply for the Sports section of the Cavalier Daily in the spring of 2020.</p>

One of the most valuable things I pushed myself to do during this time was to apply for the Sports section of the Cavalier Daily in the spring of 2020.

I can confidently say that I’m not the only one whose dreams have changed since arriving on Grounds as a wide-eyed first year. I’m also certain that I’m not the only one who struggled to comprehend that the things I once dreamt of were no longer my dreams.

I spent years dreaming of the day that I would become a doctor and join the medical staff of a National Football League team. I had a lifelong love for sports and I knew I wanted to make an impact on people’s lives, so this career seemed like a natural path for me. After enrolling in a rigorous science, technology, engineering and math-based course load, I spent my entire first semester at the University constantly trying to keep up and ultimately realized that this dream might not become a reality.

This realization was a harsh truth to face at the time. After spending so long thinking I had a perfect picture of what my life would look like in five or 10 years, there was a certain confidence I carried in my daily stride. When people asked me what I was studying and what I wanted to do with my degree, I didn't have to question myself — I knew the answer. Losing that confidence and not knowing the answer to that question was more challenging than I imagined.

During these times, I found solace in my support system. My wonderful parents, family members, roommates, friends, friends of friends, professors — the list of people I leaned on could go on for a while. They all held a flashlight for me when I felt like I was walking in the dark, and I feel grateful that I had such amazing people assuring me that I deserved happiness and peace, even if I didn’t have it all figured out.

These are also the same people who pushed me to pursue different interests and get involved around Grounds — making my days less monotonous and changing my life for the better. After struggling so much, I never envisioned I could get back up and do things like intern for Virginia Athletics or join the Distinguished Majors Program in Sociology — but I did. One of the most valuable things I pushed myself to do during this time was to apply for the sports section of The Cavalier Daily in the spring of 2020.

When I was accepted, I remember being so excited that somebody else believed my writing was worthy of an audience. I took that reassurance and ran with it, writing about the baseball team, Joe Reed’s appearance at the NFL Combine and how Virginia Athletics Marketing gets ready for a basketball game, among many other topics. In the fall of 2020, I covered the field hockey team and wrote more articles, but as time passed, I had a growing desire to take on more responsibility and began thinking about running for Sports Editor.

With the encouragement of my phenomenal editors at the time, Vignesh Mulay and Akhil Rekulapelli, I ran for the position and became Sports Editor for the 132nd term of The Cavalier Daily. Without them and the backing of countless other people in my life, I would never have done something so bold.

It was during times like these — times when I broke out of my comfort zone — that I found myself. That’s not to say that I have everything entirely figured out, but I understand that I don’t have to in order to be satisfied with who I am. I feel as though I’ve regained that sense of confidence I once held, and I have a stronger sense of identity than I ever did because I had lost it for so long. I dream of different things now, and I’m content with that.