The Benchwarmer

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Being a benchwarmer ultimately led to my verbal commitment to Binghamton University my junior year of high school.

Though the gym was a comfortable seventy-three degrees, I shivered. Whistles chirped at odd intervals across the length of the gym. Cheering reverberated across the cold walls and snapped my attention back to the volleyball court in front of me. I tugged on my jersey’s sleeves until the ends were balled up in my slightly purple fists.

Brrr…

Self consciously, I sidestepped in front of the three teammates that clapped enthusiastically beside me. I sifted through the pile of warm up jackets on the chair adjacent to them until I spotted a label with a hastily written, “#13”.

That’s me, I thought.

The number didn’t stand a realistic chance of making the regular starting lineup sheet yet, but I felt a little flutter of pride all the same.

A few months earlier, I accepted an offer as an outside hitter on the top club volleyball team in the state of Wisconsin. Though I had experience as an integral part of my previous club and high school teams, I now found myself ridin’ the pine on a regular basis. Feeling deflated, I realized I had gotten accustomed to watching the sport I loved most from the sidelines.

***

My sophomore year at Binghamton University.


Being identified as a “benchwarmer” is not an easy concept for every athlete to learn. It doesn’t matter if you’re sixteen on a club volleyball team, twenty on a Division 1 team, or thirty on a professional team. It can be an intensely emotional experience, especially if communication between an athlete and coach breaks down.

After reminiscing about my club volleyball experience, I was curious to see how my colleagues’ experiences on the bench compared with mine. Admitting they weren’t always the star player or part of the starting lineup, many launched into personal recollections that included rejection, increased motivation, shame, confusion, and bitterness.

Even though I’ve been involved in athletics since the age of five, I never considered giving the psyche of the benchwarmer much thought. To me, it just seemed like a self-pity party I threw for myself on the sidelines as an angsty teen in high school. After more deliberation, I realized my time on the bench impacted my life more profoundly than I had previously given credit to.

The semifinal game at the America East Tournament. We won the championship game and received the automatic bid to go to the NCAA Tournament in 2012.


Two social psychologists from the University of Virginia had a similar interest into the psyche of the benchwarmer and decided to study the phenomena in more detail. In their article, “The Social Psychology of the Benchwarmer”, Robert J. Rotella and Douglas S. Newburg come to the conclusion that some benched athletes “may experience [an] identity crises, the impact of which may be long-lasting and far-reaching for them”. In their report, the psychologists also offer suggestions for athletes, coaches, and sport psychology consultants to help respond to these situations effectively.

Overall this article has great intentions which I can give credit for piquing my interest. On the flip side, the authors come to broad conclusions based on a small sample size of athletes from the late 1980s. It also may have been supplemental to mention the possibility of an athlete who can learn positive lessons while sitting the bench. As always, hindsight is 20/20.

While the combination of prolonged bench time and poor communication will not likely impact the athlete positively, a lack of playing time can serve as an opportunity for some athletes.

This in mind, I can find no better example than former Ohio State basketball player, Mark Titus (of blogsite Club Trillion). He scored nine points during his entire four-year career but established a way to become indispensable off the court. He served as a practice and “pump up” player to the starters that won an NCAA Championship. His book Don’t Put Me In Coach is hilarious account of his journey “from one end of the bench to the other”. I’d highly recommend it.

On a more personal level, my experience offered opportunities to learn valuable lessons that easily translated to the workplace. Now that I’m about three years removed from the volleyball court, I have the ability to see how my role as a benchwarmer during high school impacted my life on an athletic and personal level.

Signing day, my junior year of high school.


After spending time as a six-rotation, front row and practice player through both club and high school, I decided to verbally commit to a mid-major Division 1 school as a high school junior. Overjoyed, I verballed because there was an opening for a four-year starter at this prestigious university.

The offers I had from universities with more competitive volleyball programs didn’t offer a four-year starting position like Binghamton University (NY). Though it’s nice to be a part of a winning program, I decided I’d like to have an immediate impact as a freshman. Without my time on the sidelines, I can’t say with certainty I’d make the same decision again. This is definitely a positive takeaway I wish co-authors Rotella and Newburg took into account in their article.

During my later club volleyball years, sitting on the side was tough. I felt cheated and unimportant, but I will maintain those who coached me had valid reasons for playing others before me if I wasn’t on the court. To this day, I hold no bitterness towards any of the people who impacted my journey as a player, whether I played or not. Feeling like you’ve been rejected is a hard aspect to swallow, especially at the ripe old age of sixteen, but it’s something that offers countless opportunities to learn from.

Not only has my time on the bench impacted my life athletically, but also personally. It’s nice to be an integral part of a team, but it helps to learn humility and perseverance as a player. This translates well into the professional world and your coworkers (and anyone you encounter, quite honestly) will thank you.

Squad of 2013.


As my mother told me from a young age, you’ll find ninety-nine point nine percent of the time there will be someone out there more talented than you. Sometimes you’ll be the star, other times not. Whether this is true in the athletic, real world, or both, there can be many opportunities to grow from.

If I could go back in time and tell my 16-year-old self anything, it would be to 1.) stop using so much eyeliner, 2.) invest in Apple, and 3.) let this time on the bench serve as motivation, not a sign you’re not good enough.

This isn’t to say every coach will have reasonable cause for keeping one athlete on the bench as opposed to another. As I’m sure we’re all aware, coaches are also human. Some humans have better intentions than others, but sports have seasons that end. This lesson certainly comes in handy in the real world while dealing with difficult managers and bosses. As my college sports psych professor often claimed several times per class, “sports are a microcosm of society”.

I had to include this photo, grainy or not. I’m now living in Providence so it’s a small coincidence!


In the short term, riding the pine may seem disappointing. Long term, I can say it eventually made me a stronger person and helped determine where I’d be happiest during my undergraduate degree. It’s exciting to be a starter or to feel important, but there’s also a chance to grow while off the court. What you learn through athletics often translates well into the professional world. I can definitely vouch for this!

Whenever you’re feeling bummed out about playing time, just remember you have the power to make what you can out of a situation. Sports have seasons, seasons end, you grow older and your knees and back will sometimes fail you. It’s times like these when I appreciate the lessons I learned on the bench more than I could’ve realized when I was sixteen. Though a very slim amount of players can say they aspire to sit on the bench if given the chance to be on the court, it’s not always a bad place to be.

Ride that pine with pride, athletes!

#12 was my favorite player to play against. She now coaches at University of Albany.


A Reflection on My Sister and My Time Together as Humans: She’s Old AF Now

It was March 17th, 1995 and let me tell you, it was a day that would change my world forever. The British freakin’ pound hit 2.4545 to the Dutch gilder (a record!), a few weeks ago Jodi Foster won Most Dramatic Motion Picture, and I had just belted out TLC’s “Creep” in the car on the way to the hospital. Swag money! I was three years old and had never felt so alive.

The buzz I had been feeling as I took a swig out of my ladybug sippy cup was all feels, man. It was the 90s and I had been living it big. Peep my Oshkosh B’Gosh overalls! I heard Michelle on Full House had the same pair!

I was suddenly jolted out of my haze of good vibes as my grandpa pulled me by the hand. We stepped out of the elevator and into a wide, bustling hall. Did I hear babies crying? I looked over at Grandma who was carrying a small sized one-year-old Logan (he’s now 6’4″). My little brother always bawled his face off before he threw up. We called him “Up-Chuck” at home because he literally couldn’t keep his mashed green beans down. What a waste. Green beans are so bitchin’.

“Kristin, are you excited to meet your little sister?” Grandpa asked as he patted me on the back. Grandma followed in tow, fussing over Logan.

I took a long pull on my apple juice thoughtfully, enjoying the attention.

“Yeah, yeah. Logan is all right even though he never seems to respond to the books I read him. He just farts on me instead of having an academic discussion about Barney’s ability to play the trumpet. In my humble opinion-”

Grandpa grunted, “Aww, good stuff. Good stuff.”

He pushed his way around the curtain in a room off to our left and I followed haphazardly. Where were we going? I loathed hospitals. Where were mom and dad?

I poked my head around Grandpa’s legs.

Soft pale pink walls enveloped the bed Mom was chillin’ in. Dad sat alongside her bed and was preoccupied with whatever Mom was holding in a fuzzy blanket. As we shuffled in, Mom and Dad both looked up and smiled.

“Come meet Allison Paige,” Mom said.

What.

I eyed the bundle she held very suspiciously. If this thing was anything like Logan, it was going to be quite the attention-sucker, I thought. I took a deep breath, took another pull on my apple juice (for courage), and peered over the edge of the bed.

The mini human had bugling, closed eyes and small tufts of hair strewn about her little head. Instantly, I was captivated. I would be the best big sister ever, I told myself.


Fast-forward many years later, and that little burrito in the blanket is now twenty-one years old. She’s now going to have her Senior Night for volleyball in a few days and would now make a much larger burrito. Her eyes are no longer bugling, her hair grew in, and she’s stunningly pretty now.

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Look at how fabulous we’re being! LYLAS! Sisterz!

Though I’d love to say I honored my wish to be the best big sister ever, there have been quite a few times where I know I could’ve been a better one. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, my sister and I had some trials and tribulations, especially when we were in the midst of our Chemical Romance/Fall Out Boy teenage years. She once broke into my LOCKED treasure chest to get into my diary to find out who I liked. After awhile, I sensed she knew who my crushes were (<3 Alex ❤ and ❤ Mason <3) and I wrote to her in my own diary to let her know I knew…she knew. I’d retaliate and break into her diary and make fun of her for liking ❤ Jeff <3. It was the best of times!

Even though I sometimes doubt I’ve been the best sister to her, I know I can always make her laugh and I live for it. I still brag to anyone who will listen that I once made her laugh so hard during a game of foursquare that she peed her pants. Lovingly, I then forced her to get the hose to spray off the pee from the “Baby” square. Oh, the irony.

Another one of my favorite memories of us doing hoodrat stuff is the day our brother, Logan, ripped his leg open on a tree in the backyard. Alli and I were taking disposable photographs of our cats in various doll clothing (this is something I should probably tell my therapist) when our Mom yelled at us to stay in our room. Naturally, we wanted to see what was up. Unbeknownst to us, Logan’s leg lay grotesquely cut open in the kitchen a few feet away and our Mom didn’t want us to see and accelerate the situation any further.

Naturally, as anyone else would’ve done, I grabbed Alli and we both started screaming hysterically. We ran back to our room, I snatched the Youth Bible laying on the floor, and ran into the bathroom and locked Alli and myself inside. We continued to scream in the bathtub and clutched the Bible like it was a buoy keeping us afloat.

Weirdly, Jesus himself didn’t answer our prayers and come down from the heavens to join us in the shower. I wonder why. Several minutes later, Logan was on the way to the ER and Alli and I felt as though it was safe to unlock the bathroom door and venture out.

It’s memories like this that make me feel so #blessed to have Alli.

Not only did we have the chance to scream in a bathtub together in the early 2000’s, but we had the opportunity to play volleyball together for four and a half years. I grew up as the bigger, taller, and “I got a letter from Texas my sophomore year of high school” type recruit* while she was continually told she was “too short” to play D1 (this should make anyone angry, Alli is 5’9″). Alli was always the level-headed player while I could become a different person at the flick of a switch. Alli was a solid passer, great digger, and had a great jump-float serve (when she graduated she held the record at our high school). She could also still hit a ball inside the ten foot line no problem. On the other hand, I was more of a “just blocking and hitting”-type player. I’d be angry if every ball I hit didn’t land inside the ten foot line. Alli would play six rotations, I would play three. Alli is the type of player you can always count on to both perform on the court as well as lead on and off the court. You could count on me to either play out of my mind or completely self-implode.

Though we were two different molds of players, we played for the same high school and eventually, the same Division 1 school. Not to my surprise, she enjoyed great success at Binghamton University. Her Freshman year, she earned a place on the America East All-Rookie Team. Alli’s Sophomore year, she followed up a great Freshman year with All-America East First Team honors. Her Junior and Senior season have been riddled with injuries but every time I’ve talked with her, she’s remained positive despite discouraging circumstances. She’s been a two-year captain and finishes off a storied career with 569 kills and 458 digs in just two years, holds a career high of a 19 kill match and has recorded numerous double-doubles over the course of her Freshman and Sophomore years. Her height hasn’t stopped her in the slightest and I couldn’t be more proud of Alli as both a player and my sister.

Though we’ve each gone through our own personal struggles, we each know we always have each other’s backs in the end.

So even though I once skeptically looked at a little burrito Alli swaddled in blankets at the hospital, I couldn’t be more happy to have her as my sister and best friend. In fact, I’m not even embarrassed to be Facebook official as her sister! She’s come a long way from reading my diaries and peeing on the pavement during foursquare games and there isn’t a single day that goes by where I don’t think God I have her.

Here’s to celebrating your senior year, Al Bob. Thanks for being the calming presence to my hot mess-ness. I love you to pieces!

xxx

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The happy sibz circa 2013~

*It was my sophomore year, Texas always has a huge budget and can send many, many letters out to recruits so don’t read into this and think I was ever capable of playing here. The point is that several Division 1 schools began sending me mail my freshman and sophomore year just as they did with many other players at this age.

 

 

 

 

A Less Politically Correct “31 Things Current and Former Students Know to Be True at Binghamton University”

Remember that list that resurfaced a month ago which compiled the thirty-one things Binghamton Students supposedly know to be true? Did anyone else feel like it left out a great number of politically incorrect points? Well, I did.

So naturally, as I sit here in bed, I’m here to make the most of a great opportunity to show potential employers my complete inability to relate to other humans and my only skill on LinkedIn: making lists of things WHILE IN A WORD DOCUMENT. SUch SkiLL! It’s all downhill from there (juuust kidding, don’t get you undies in a bundle).

But anyway, if you agree, disagree, whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. Here’s a highly superficial list I’ve compiled with some of my close friends that I feel addresses some of the things we the original article missed out on. Feel free to comment below and add your own points as I’m sure I’ve left out a few good ones.

…because it’s never fun to be 100% politically correct all the time. Right?

Enjoy.

1.) Jesse Garn is the actual unauthorized, unofficial school mascot since no one knows what the hell a bearcat is. Find out what Google Scholar (Wikipedia) says here about the part reptile, part humanoid being.

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The highly aggressive binturong (pictured above) can actually be found in Southeast Asia and was chosen Binghamton’s mascot in the fall of 1999 as a both nod to Binghamton’s 79% Asian undergrad population and as a drunken mistake at Y2K “we’re all f*cked party”. Party host Ted Thomilson was quoted as saying, “if we make it through this millenium bug crap, I’ll appoint a bearcat as Binghamton’s school mascot. Mark my words”. The bearcat has remained ever since.

2.) No one’s ugly after 3am once it’s closing time downtown.

3.) Once you discover the Blake, you’ll never regret choosing Binghamton as your “not quite Ivy League school” school again.

4.) If you’re not Asian or Jewish, you will be severely outnumbered in each lecture you take.

5.) Some of you will never participate in your community’s events, ever. Who even knows what goes on at “Mountainview Days” anyway???

6.) There is indeed a former Playboy bunny that prowls Main Street at odd hours of the morning. Yes, she will let you touch her boobs if you take a photo with her.

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Yasss, Kween!

7.) The air will hurt your face come February-April as you’re struggling to walk uphill to class both ways. All ways. ANY way.

8.) Some students will tawk to yew like this, and if yew don’t knahw wut I mean, then yew’re from Strawng Island. Non-Long Islanders will try and figure out how to imitate this accent much to the Long Islanders’ annoyance. Usually it’s pretty bad.

9.) Binghamton’s campus is a reunion waiting to happen for anyone who graduated from a high school on Long Island, too.

10.) You will overhear arguments from students who say the Long Islanders are incorrectly referring to Binghamton as “upstate”.

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In other words, everything north of NYC or Westchester. To be honest, I’m never even quite sure anymore where upstate is and I’ve even been to the Adirondacks.

11.) Most of you will be unequivocally wasted at any major Binghamton Holiday besides Yom Kippur (Spring Fling, Homecoming, whatever). Some of you still will be wasted during Yom Kippur anyway.

12.) You and your friends might just spend hours upon hours dicking around at Target.

13.) The locals all have 607 area code phone numbers.

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Swim away.

14.) If you’re trying to smoke pot, go to Binghamton’s nature preserve.

15.) Feeling angst about wanting to kill off half the deer on campus, but not wanting to seem like an a**hole for feeling this desire.

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When looking right to left while walking up to Mountainview, one may have the chance of spotting some of God’s beautiful creatures!

16.) The soccer team hangs out at Tony’s. No one is ever sure exactly why.

17.) Many athletes hang out at JT’s.

18.) Don’t even think about trying to get into Dillinger’s without a great fake, your real ID, or a great rack.

19.) Roughly 74% of Binghamton’s undergrads are angsty kids who haven’t quite gotten over the fact that they weren’t admitted into Cornell.

20.) Binghamton does not have a football team and never will, so STOP ASKING ALREADY.

21.) There is a great flood every five years that completely devastates the city, but allows you to go mud sliding in your dorm’s community. Yay?

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Because nothing says fun like rolling around in something that may contain fecal matter. In all seriousness, the flooding is actually not fun and is highly devastating to to community.

22.) You’ve flipped someone’s furniture in their dorm-room while they were away, because you knew they taped their door.

23.) Some of the club teams will walk around campus with their gear and the athletes will get pissed off the word “Club” isn’t large enough.

24.) Getting pissed off at cars who don’t respect your right to walk across the street.

25.) And yes, all the Maseratis, Porches, and BMWs belong to Asians.

26.) Trying and failing to get into SOM after a midlife crisis, then realizing you don’t have a 4.0 GPA and a Nobel Peace Prize necessary to get in.

27.) Yes, it’s a Public Ivy. But doesn’t that basically mean we’re a cheaper, less preppy and well endowed Ivy as well…?

28.) No one outside of New York or the East Coast has ever heard of it except some random guy you meet in the airport on a three hour layover. IT’S PRONOUNCED BING-UM-TIN. NOT BING-HAMPT-ON! For the love of God, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!

29.) Vaughan is the TITS, and yes, there will always be rumors flying around that he’s leaving, so yes, sell your soul to get into one of his lectures.

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Vaughan, if you’re reading this, this was the most swag photo I could find please don’t kill me.

30.) The athletes will always b*tch about not getting enough funding and the University’s population generally not caring about how well they do.

31.) Your four years of undergrad go by WAY too quickly, and you’ll always have a soft spot when reminscing with friends about all the stupid, hoodrat things you did together.

Bottom line, I loved Binghamton University and met most of my best friends there. I couldn’t have picked a better community to grow up in and dedicate this post to them as they’ve helped me write it.

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I hereby dedicate this to: David, Steph (Peanut), Manz, Lex, and Jojo. There. That’s pretty formal, yes? (Jojo is not pictured)

 

Here’s That Long Ass “About College” Post- Another Bullshit Story Told By Yours Truly, <3 K Hoves Jr. <3

Well slap me in the ass and call me Betty. As you may know, I’m done with college. In fact, you may only know this due to my ridiculous amount of instagrams, facebook pic uploads, and my nostalgic drunk tweets about how much I love my friends and Taco Bell. Awesome. But since I’m now graduated, I feel the need to sum up my college career so I feel like I did more than just binge drink four days a week in spring and struggle to make it through three hour volleyball practices every day in the fall.

Alright. Big picture first because people have 3 second attention span.

HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED:

I am not the same person that I was when I walked onto campus for the first time in August 2011. I look back on my freshman self and think, “Jesus Christ tweeze your eyebrows, stop dying your hair black, boys don’t have cooties, dumbass, and I am not the same person anymore”.

LOL but before I go into a bullshit story about how “Binghamton has really become my second home” or “I wanted to transfer my freshman year but really swagged out and liked it after awhile” type thing, I have to start here. Here’s my bullshit story.

When I left Neenah, Wisconsin in the summer of 2011 for preseason, I was not sad to say goodbye to my family. Alright, a little sad, but I was never homesick for the next year. High school left me in a difficult spot. My junior year was a constant tug of war with Reedo and Karen for extended curfews, time spent with friends, and a bad relationship choice. Of course, as those of you out of high school now realize, most high schoolers are complete dumbasses. We just don’t recognize it till we get older.

Though my relationship with my parents fluctuated, I was pretty close to my siblings. My brother, Logan, and I got along well because he was the mediator between my youngest sister, Alli and I. Alli and I were close but I spent much of my time comparing myself to her making sure that I was the best at everything. When she made Varsity volleyball halfway through her freshman year, I didn’t rejoice. I saw her as a threat to the “legacy” I was trailblazing as my high school’s first freshman to make the Varsity squad. It’s incredibly sad and pathetic.

Oh my god, teenage angst!! Me junior year of high school.

Oh my god, teenage angst!! Me junior year of high school.

Alli and I continued to butt heads my junior year of high school as she (and my parents) didn’t approve of the semi-secret relationship I was in (only considered “semi” because no one really knew we were together except my mom and sister who had their doubts- a couple kids guessed at school but my friends didn’t know and neither did the other party’s parents). They were scared and I was scared too. I still remember a senior taunting me about being in a relationship with the person I was with and I spent the rest of the week freaking out that everyone knew I wasn’t exactly in a “normal” relationship. Add that to signing to a school 13 hours away from home and you have a SHIT ton of teenage angst.

Me signing spring of my junior year of high school

Me signing spring of my junior year of high school.

Junior year ended and it was onto senior year. I made some great friends that I still have to this day, but struggled with the fact that my lifeline and essentially, my entire “world” had left for college. Senior year was pretty great, however; I joined track and field and was able to compete in high jump. It was fun to be good at something and not have a lot of pressure on myself to perform- it was a great release for me.

Alright. So now that I’ve had a glass of wine and can now look back on my high school experience, it sucked. I know I always whine about being 22 years single, but it’s actually a lie. THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE: I attached onto a person who in the end denounced the entire relationship and left me when they clearly should have pushed me to get help at that point. I didn’t get over this person until the beginning of THIS year (yes, THIS year my senior year of college!!!) and it ruined many other opportunities to date other people at Binghamton. This affected my happiness at college. (I figured I’d make sure I put my points in all caps for emphasis and also some sassiness~)

So let’s fast forward a little to college. Freshman year was mostly uneventful. I always tell anyone I meet how you don’t realize how much freshman year of college sucks until you’re done with it. I didn’t go out much, but I had a successful freshman season of volleyball and made some friends on my team. My next year was one for the books, however.

If you’ve read my previous posts or seen me play volleyball, you either know I’m a literal psychopath or am bipolar II/depressed/OCD and also semi-lactose intolerant. My sophomore year is when everything I dealt with in high school with the poor relationships I had with my family to the termination of my “secret” relationship came to a breaking point.

Some day in November (can’t remember approximate dates) I was drinking with my friends which clearly later impaired my decision making skills. I had been wandering off into the woods or into empty bathrooms on campus to cut and burn my wrists on a regular basis and covered it up at volleyball practice with prewrap and tape. That night, however, my friends found me in either the bathroom or in my bed with blood all over my wrists up to my elbows. I don’t remember much except being taken to the hospital in an ambulance and begging them to believe me that I wasn’t drunk because we would have to play Penn State in the NCAA Tournament that week. All I do know is that if my friends hadn’t found me and called for help, I would have committed suicide that night.

Me sophomore year- wrists taped up at the Cornell match in attempt to hide what I'd done.

Me sophomore year- wrists taped up at the Cornell match in attempt to hide the cutting and burns.

During sophomore year, I had seen four different therapists, tried at least ten different medications, and had seen a little improvement. I spent much of that winter break debating whether or not to go back to school in the spring. I’ve been told that most people that struggle with Bipolar Disorder take time off. I couldn’t imagine not going back to school with my friends, so I went back and struggled through a grueling preseason while my friends, family, and coaches watched me closely. Who knew when I’d fly off the handlebars again? Not even I knew.

Sophomore year at conference tournament- even though we won the whole tournament I still struggled with self-harm at the time and much of this period was unremarkable for me.

Sophomore year at conference tournament- even though we won the whole tournament I still struggled with self-harm at the time and much of this otherwise “happy” time was unremarkable for me.

Sophomore year ended and Alli committed to Binghamton that spring. Unlike the high school me, the college me was thrilled. My near-death sort of deal ultimately made us much closer than before and I was extremely happy to have her with me in New York. REMEMBER WHAT I SAID BEFORE ABOUT CHANGING? I’M DOING IT HERE, PEOPLE!!!

My last two years of college were some of the best years I’ve had my entire life. Junior year I made friends on my own and became closer to my friends Lex, Amanda, and Jordan. (Heyyyyyy gurlz there’s a shout out! <3) I spent much of my volleyball career sidelined due to various injuries and such, but overall, I was happy. (Like ehmahgawd, I could sit on the bench and do my hair and look fab without it risking getting messed up!)

Things getting better for me as Alli joins me at Bing

Things getting better for me as Alli joins me at Binghamton ❤ ❤ ❤

As senior year approached, I was in a much better place than I had been two years prior. Though I struggled with sort of “hating myself” I hadn’t cut myself in awhile and was starting to come out of my shell around people. After I played my last volleyball of my collegiate career, I didn’t cry. I felt relieved. As I’ve probably told you on a Tuesday at JT’s at 1am, I have cried way too much during the past four years in the West Gym wheelchair bathroom stall to be able to muster up a single tear to justify my athletic experience at that point.

As for the rest of my college experience? Spring of my senior year was the best time of my life I’ve had yet. I had five classes I was more than excited to take and the time to enjoy other pursuits. Even though I’ve continually struggled with mania, depression, anxiety, OCD and beer shits the morning after a great night out, I was finally figuring out who I was and becoming more comfortable with myself and being less apologetic about it.

Myself with my closest friends (minus Steph and David) graduating

Myself with my closest friends (minus Steph and David) graduating (cray crayyyy!)

So essentially, I believe at this time that life isn’t worth living unless you experience those highs and lows. God knows that if you don’t have them you might as well be an emotionless robot.

So where in the world is our dear little Kristin Hovie now?

I’ll stick my now empty wine glass where the sun don’t shine if you ask me what I’m doing after college but I will tell you this:

When I left Binghamton University a couple days ago, I was sad. And you know what is so absolutely precious about that? Being sad means I cared. Being sad means I made some great friends and had some great experiences I’ll never forget. So before I get all existential on your ass, I’ll just sum it up to this since I’m all about the capital letters now~

COLLEGE WAS GREAT IT WAS AWESOME I HATE LEAVING BUT IF I COULD TURN AROUND MY SHITTY HIGH SCHOOL/SOPHOMORE YEAR OF COLLEGE, I HAVE A LOT OF GREAT STUFF AHEAD OF ME.

So that’s that. I’ll bet you didn’t bargain on me “in vino veritas”-ing all over you on a Tuesday night, but I did. (It’s probably because I know I should be doing $1 pitchers at JT’s right now and bitching about their $3 cover.) I had a helluva ride and am happy to say $%^&, I made it. Because I did- I did with a little help from my friends.

xx

ACE~

😉

P.S. Big thank you to my coaches, family, friends (Lex, Manz, Jojo, Steph, and David amongst others) for being there for me when I needed it- because I did need it. Thanks for being great listeners.