Everyone wants a sense of belonging it’s a basic human need. I’ve been playing football since I was about 5 years old. When I was in 9th grade I got a concussion at the beginning of the school year. I was in a place where I couldn’t watch TV, couldn’t look at the lights, couldn’t do anything even walking outside gave me a massive migraine. I was not able to go to school for months because of all the bright lights. Doctors told me football was over and I was not going to be able to graduate on time because of how much work I missed.

I used to think to myself everyday what I was going to do with my life. After I few months went by I was cleared to go back to school but football was out of the picture. I was upset every day because I wasn’t going to be able to graduate on time because I missed to much work. Teachers would tell me “it’s going to be very hard to make up a semester of work with such a short time frame.” I was given 1 1/2 months to learn a semester of work plus the work everyone else was doing.

By the 2nd week into me coming back from school I didn’t know what I was doing or how to do it. I had to get help from many tutors and extra help staying after school. There were many times where I would sit and get frustrated with myself because I kept telling myself this is too much work you’re not going to finish all this work on time you’re not going to graduate with your class. In the world, right then I felt like I didn’t belong, I felt like I made a name for myself playing football but nobody cared if I would play again.

Some months go by and it is April and I get a call from the doctor’s office. My family stared at me as I talked and when I finally hung up I had the biggest smile on my face because he told me I would be able to play football again. I told my coach when I got to school the next day and he said he was happy but I still haven’t caught up with all my work. With spring break approaching I knew I was going to have to finish because the school year was almost over.

Spring break was here and while all my friends were playing and swimming in pools I was inside doing work. My mom would often come tell me that’s enough work for today go hang out with your friends and I would reply every time and say, “not right now mom I have a ton of work to do.” As I worked I always had the price tag of how much college cost in the back of my head (33,000 for tuition 1,298 for books 2,305 for food and 11,344 for housing).

A month later it was May and I was coming up on our last test. I went in with High confidence and I passed the test. This not only meant I could play football again but this also meant I had all the credits I needed to go on to the 10th grade. I talked to my coach and he told me how proud he was of me and how he believed in me this whole time and he loved me like a son, then suddenly I get this sense of belonging back. I felt like I mattered. I sat in his office for hours talking about how bad it made me feel and how depressed I was about no one caring if I would touch a field again. Then suddenly it hit me the feeling I felt when I was down about my work was not a good feeling and teens and adults feel this same feeling every day. Through many interviews students described belonging as meaning something to the world, having a purpose, a sense of appreciation. Many kids are forced to go to college then when they get there they feel as if they don’t belong there so they drop out. Many people don’t have a sense of belonging at home so they find it in other places of the world such as gangs. Never give up on your dreams, your failures don’t define who you are as a person. The only thing that matters is how you overcome adversity. My experience here at Kennesaw state has been good I feel like I belong here. I have been meeting new people and so far, I feel like this is the best fit for me.