A Letter to My Younger Self – A Blog by JR Kat Vernon

 

Dear Young Kat,

First thing’s first – please stop putting such harsh filters on your Instagram pictures, it’s embarrassing. Also, get rid of that wretched pink tank top you always wear, it’s just not it, chief.

Now that we got out of the way, I’m going to get a little bit serious. First of all, stop taking things so seriously. I probably shouldn’t say this, but stop being so hard on yourself about school. High school is really not that big of a deal, you have so many bigger and better things coming for you later in life.

Next, do what makes you happy. Try not to do things just because that’s what everyone else is doing. I know you think that listening to “pop” music is cool, but trust me, it’s okay to love indie-alternative-folk music instead. Liking something that’s “weird” or not “normal” is a really great thing, and you’re gonna figure that out when you get to college.

And to whoever told you that pursuing a career in film editing wasn’t a good idea because you wouldn’t make a lot of money – DO NOT listen to them. They’re wrong. Yeah, you may not be the boujee-est person in town, but it makes you so incredibly happy and that’s all that really matters. Do what you absolutely love to do. Do something that you truly enjoy doing and puts a smile on your face. Once you figure that out, everything else will work itself out.

And lastly, confronting your mental health straight on is so important. I am so proud and thankful that you figured that out early on. It might have felt strange or weird, but it made a huge difference and I cannot thank you enough for that. Being open and willing to talk about your mental health with others is not only beneficial to you, but to the whole world. Embrace it. Change is a thing you can count on, don’t forget it (Surprise! You have a tattoo of a triangle to remind you of this, I know you thought you’d never get one but haha – joke’s on you!).

You’re going through some really tough times right now, I know. But trust me when I say that it will get better. Everything that you’ve gone through and will go through only makes you stronger. Right now, I am the happiest I’ve ever been and it’s all thanks to the ups and downs of life. You will grow into a weird, funny, loving person and you’ll soon learn to love yourself for who you are.

One more thing – go to Taco Bell right now. Your metabolism is gonna catch up one day and you’re not gonna be able to eat as many tacos as you are right now! And go to Dairy Queen for dessert!

Love always,

Old Kat (ew I’m 21 and a Junior in college, how the heck did that happen??)

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My Legacy

At some point in every athletes career they have heard the word legacy. A coach could have discussed the legacy of a past team or a specific athlete or the legacy of a coach. Athletes hear at practices or games live up to your legacy or work hard for the legacy that has been put in your hands to keep up. I have been personally thinking about the type of legacy I want to leave here on the Geneseo women’s volleyball team and many things come to my head.

The first part of my legacy is that I want to be the first Geneseo Women’s Volleyball team to win a SUNYAC Championship and get our names on the banner in Schrader gym. This legacy can not be done just by myself, but there is not a doubt in my mind that every single one of my teammates wants this just as much as I do.

The second part of my legacy is that I want to be remembered as always being the person to come into the gym with excitement to play. Pride and opportunity are words that I think of when thinking of why I play for the Geneseo Women’s Volleyball team. Pride because every time I walk in the gym I get a feeling that I completely belong there. I want the future players for this program to feel the same way I do. When I walk places wearing Geneseo volleyball apparel and people stop and ask me about it, my whole day gets better.

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 9.22.00 PMOpportunity because there are not many athletes who get to say they love what they do everyday. Opportunity to travel and experience life with the most amazing teammates. Opportunity that many people never get a chance to do as much as they wish they could. Opportunity to work hard for all the people that got me to this point in my athletic career.

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 9.22.32 PMLegacy is a weird word in my opinion and can be interpreted differently. Maybe your success in breaking records creates your legacy, or an amazing play that everyone talks about creates your legacy. But for me I want my legacy to be more than that…I want to be remembered by upholding everything it means to be a part of the Geneseo Women’s Volleyball team. I want to be known as the most relentless player to ever play in Schrader gym.

A Thank You Letter- A Blog by SO Allison Wick

Most people don’t understand how privileged they are to have two parents. Life is much easier when you have two adult role models helping guide you through life. While I didn’t get the privilege of having both a mom and a dad, I never felt at a disadvantage. My mom worked twice as hard as a parent to make sure I got everything I wanted out of life. She did everything she could to help support me, and teach me everything I needed to be successful. I do not express how thankful I am for you enough. I know it wasn’t easy being a single mom raising me and my three siblings. It took a lot of courage, willpower, and patience. I learned so much from you. You have made me the person I am today and again I am thankful for that.

The first, and most important, thing you taught me is to fight for what you deserve and never settle. You never settled for less than you deserved in your life. You knew what you wanted, and you went after it. It wasn’t easy for you to be a single mother going back to school but, you knew you wanted better for yourself and us. As anyone who has gone to college knows it isn’t easy and for you to do it while taking care of four kids is inconceivable. You showed me that life is going to be challenging. You taught me that I am going to have to fight for myself and just because other people doubted me, doesn’t mean that I should doubt myself.

You also taught me how to be independent. You didn’t have the time to be constantly nagging me on all my decisions and because of that, I learned how to hold myself accountable. You allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them. You helped prepare me for life. I can’t depend on other people to do everything for me. However, you also showed me its okay to ask for help when you need it.

While most people would think having a single parent would give you a disadvantage, I think it made me a better person. Having a single mother gave me a strong independent woman as a role model which very few people are lucky enough to have in their life. You gave me all the tools and opportunity’s I need to be successful. I may not be the best at showing how much you mean to me but, I am extremely thankful for all that you taught me, the opportunity’s you gave me, and everything you sacrificed for me.

With love,
Allison Wick

A Letter to Someone Who Inspires Me – A Blog by JR Abby May

The person I am writing this letter to is probably the least likely to stumble across this blog post at all… Anyone that knows my father knows he is not the most tech-savvy guy. Anyways, I hope mom sees this somewhere so you can read it 🙂

 

Dad,

I know I’m not the most open in expressing my feelings to you and mom, but I’ve found it much easier to write it out instead…

The first thing I would like to say is thank you. I know you don’t think we have to thank you, but it’s hard not to after all you’ve done for us. Thank you for always having my best interests in mind, for letting me make my own mistakes and learn for myself, and for teaching me that life’s too short to take it too seriously.

 

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Here are some of the ways you inspire me…

Courage

I admire your strength in the face of adversity. I won’t go into depth because I know you don’t want the world knowing, but I cannot even begin to fathom your strength in the battling of your long-lasting illnesses. The past ten years have probably been some of the toughest of your life, and somehow you had managed to trick me into thinking it wasn’t as bad as it actually was. No matter how crappy you felt, you always put your wife and five kids first. You took us on adventures every weekend and multiple nights during the week. You continued to be the amazing father we all know, love, and appreciate. I am amazed by your overall optimism and faith that your health will improve, as well as your mentality that every day on earth is a good one. I know you will do whatever possible to be able to watch us all grow up and have families of our own, which is something your parents weren’t fortunate enough to have; but I know with all my heart that they are looking down on us and they are more proud of you than they ever could’ve imagined.

 

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Always Give 100%

Something you didn’t really have to vocalize much, but rather taught us by the act of doing, was to do something right or to not do it at all. I know you said you weren’t always this way, that you learned from trial and error, but by observing you all my life, I know you almost never take the easy way out. If I ever think of taking the easy route or to not give my best effort, I immediately hear a voice in the back of my head that leads me to do otherwise. I obviously have not mastered this, as I don’t believe anyone truly can; but what I can do is strive to feel that sense of fulfillment when I give my all to something as much as possible.

 

 

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Resiliency

You’re ability to make something from almost nothing absolutely amazes me. Whether it’s something like building tree houses, beach volleyball courts, or ice skating rinks for all of us kids to enjoy; or rather something much larger, like starting your own business from nothing but a two-year degree and a $5000 loan that no bank seemed to be willing to give you. Through tons of strength-of-will tests and obstacles that I cannot even begin to comprehend, you managed to create something that would support all seven of us from day one; and for that, I am forever grateful. I know you don’t look at all of this as something magnificent you’ve done, but rather something you needed to do as a husband and father… but just know that the people you love admire you for your mental strength, resiliency, and positivity.

 

 

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Always Make Time for the Things That Make You Happy

Last but not least, one of my favorites that I will carry throughout the rest of my life… you have always taught us how important it is to make time to do the things we enjoy. No matter how crazy life gets, you always make time for the various hobbies you like; whether by yourself, with your brothers/friends, or with us kids. It’s when life seems too much to handle that these times are the most important. They are what will keep us grounded in the face of tougher times.

 

You are a great inspiration to me and are a person whom I believe has always understood me on a level no one really ever could. This connection didn’t come from having frequent deep and personal conversations–something we all know I don’t really like to do–it’s just something that has always been. Some would say it’s just a father-daughter bond, but I believe it is much more than that. You know my overall mental state in the drop of a dime, without much interaction at all. You know that if I am struggling with something, I will eventually figure it out. However, there were times when you knew I needed some of your words of wisdom and/or a push to take that first step in the right direction. Even in those times, you knew the exact point to intervene. It was somehow always the perfect point in time when I wouldn’t be angry for you wanting to help, but rather I understood and appreciated how much you cared for me.

You and mom amaze me every day. Thank you for being the best parents anybody could ask for. You both are truly an inspiration.

 

With love from your favorite middle child,

Abby (aka scoocher)