The Clarion

A Change In Plans

By BRIANNA COLADO

Swimming is the sport I know best. The one thing I believed was going to be my ticket to success in the future.

It all started when I was just four years old, a baby in water baby lessons trying to be taught how to swim. Who knew that in just a couple months I would be racing against others up to the age of six from all over the Valley?

This sport became my passion, and it has remained till this day.

Swimming is my opportunity to show my strength and potential. It is my relaxation after a long day, my time to think when things get rough, and my time to embrace how well life is going. It is my safe spot through all the madness of the busy student life.

All this time I believed that it was something I was going to be able to continue through college, but as senior year got closer and closer, life demonstrated that it had different plans for me. When college decisions came around I had to choose what was best for me in the long run. I had believed swimming would be my chance to get a scholarship to a college that would give me the best opportunity to become a doctor. I wanted to be able to swim all throughout college and magically become a doctor one day.

The truth is life isn’t that easy.

I was offered to swim at several colleges around the country, and for a while I was considering my options. Some were in New York City, others in Virginia or even Texas, which meant that I was going to have to go 10 or more hours away regardless.

I began to ask myself why I swim. I came to the conclusion that I do it for myself and my loved ones. To me personally it did not make sense to leave far away where my family would not be able to watch me compete. They would probably only be able to go watch me race once out of the whole season. It was at this point that swimming at any of those colleges did not sound as appealing anymore.

Along came college decisions and to see that I had been accepted to my top school choices made me feel that those colleges on the east coast no longer mattered. I worked extremely hard throughout high school both in sports and academics to be able to ensure my opportunity to go to the college of my choice. Throughout high school, there were several long nights of studying, and many family sundays given up to get homework done all because I had a goal to reach. Now that the acceptance was here, my sacrifices had created an opportunity that I could absolutely not turn down.

So after several nights of long talks with my parents at the kitchen table and many phone calls with college coaches trying to figure out what they would be able to do for my career goals, I have accepted Cal. I have decided to dedicate myself to my studies because they have brought me to this amazing opportunity. From now on the pressure for success is going to be at an all time high. I need to be able to have concentration and determination for these upcoming years to be able to get to my goal, which is becoming a medical professional someday. Swimming will continue to be apart of my life because I am not quite ready to let go just yet. However, it is just not going to be the center of my world anymore.

A year ago, I would’ve never seen myself letting go of college swim, but life brought me another plan that will be better for me and my ultimate goal.

So I leave behind my swimming career to Selma High and I will continue my journey in life’s crazy path at Berkeley. The only difference now, is that I am no longer unsure if I am making the right decision. I know what I am deciding to do will pay off in the future.