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A Letter to My 9th Grade Self

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Dear ninth grade Jacob,

I know you may seem overwhelmed, I know it may seem like too much, but you can’t give up.  If you don’t know yet, I’m talking about lacrosse.  This has been your favorite sport since you first stepped on the field, and you can’t just throw it all away because you are lazy and scared of commitment.  Just keep going to games in the cold and living through the adversity; it will pay off and you will be a better person because of it, I promise.  

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of staying on the team.  We’ll start with the cons.  You’ll be tired and fatigued a lot, but that will get better if you work at it.  You may get beat up a bit in the game just like all the other players.  You may not perform very well, and that will start to weigh on your self esteem, but you can’t let something as simple as that beat you.  

Now, shall we weigh the pros?  You will form stronger friendships and bonds with everyone on the team.  You will get better.  In a few years you will be a senior starter, maybe even a captain.  You will be able to help/ mentor younger players who were like you once were.  You will stay in great shape.  You will have something productive to devote your time to and be a part of.  And lastly, you will develop as a person in a much better way knowing you stuck something out all the way through, regardless of all your stress, struggles, and hardships.

Although lacrosse is the main focus of this letter, I would like to touch on a couple of important things to keep in mind as you’re going through life.  I want you to know that you can be whoever you want to be, wear what you want to wear, like who you want to like, and act like you want to act, and don’t think for a second that anyone else’s opinion matters when it comes to being yourself.  Stop thinking of yourself as the lesser one,  and strive to be the greater person. If you don’t have something you want, grind hard and get it.  Don’t let anything come between you and your dreams and goals, especially yourself.  Be confident no matter what, and if you’re not confident about something, do it until you are. Don’t let embarrassment or fear stop you from doing something –  just do it and deal with the situation.  If you do this, you will be the best possible version of yourself you can be.

So, to recap: play lacrosse, be confident, and don’t let anyone or anything come between you and what you want.

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A Letter to My 9th Grade Self