As we parked in Ella's new dorm parking lot I realized just how fast I’ve grown up. My sisters quickly snapped me out of it with a bitter argument about COVID and being careful. “I’m not going in there,” my younger sister Lila said. This reminded me of years ago, being packed in between my sisters for a road trip as they constantly bickered. It felt like I would never get out of the backseat of the car.
Around two years ago my sister, Ella, began her recruiting process. She had been playing field hockey for around five years at that point. Her passion was field hockey and she played for Concord High’s varsity team and Seacoast United’s club team. We were in the car when Ella got her first contact with a coach. It was the coach for the MIT Beavers who was interested in Ella coming to her program. As an athlete myself, it has been my dream and goal to play lacrosse in college and my sister was turning her goals into realities. Ella continued to be contacted by coaches, including many DIII colleges such as some in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, and some smaller DI schools like UNH. As a little brother I thought this was so cool and it made me feel like my time was coming soon for recruitment and I couldn’t be more excited.
Ella ultimately decided on going to Wesleyan University, one of those smaller DIII schools in the NESCAC, and she thought it was perfect for her. After I helped her move in, I was somewhat sad to see her go, but I would definitely enjoy a house without her. As I look back at her preparing and then going to college it made me realize how close I was to this time. I was a little more than two years away and that gave me mixed feelings. I was excited to be able to have new beginnings and see new things, but I was sad because I realized how much I still have to do here. Ella’s high school time was over and mine was flying by. “High school years are the best years of your life” I was always told. Believe me, I have memories and have had fun so far, but this all has made me realize how close my time in high school was coming to ending.
Next year I will be a senior in high school. I am excited and fearful. My dream is to play lacrosse on the next level. I am thankful to be able to have that opportunity available to me and I realize how lucky I am to have the privilege. Many people will never be able to get a higher level of education or play sports on the next level. Just like everything in this country though, it will take hard work and dedication.
As we pulled out of Wesleyan University after getting Ella settled, one family member short, I relaxed and started to understand my privilege and what I have to do to achieve my dreams. Just like my sister.
© Nathaniel Doherty. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.