Four weeks ago, I turned 20 years old. I didn’t think much of it then, and I don’t think much of it now.
I don’t find birthdays too exciting anymore. When you’re little, birthdays are a big deal because you get presents, cake and all of this attention. Everything is about you, and it’s great. Your birthday is a day that celebrates you; it celebrates your existence. Your birthday is a day that celebrates how far you’ve come so far in life and how far you can still go.
I first considered becoming a sports writer my sophomore year of high school, the 2010-2011 school year. That was the year I really started to implement sports (mostly basketball really) into whatever writing I did, even my academic writing.
It started with a vocabulary quiz I had in my English Ten Honors class. We had to write a story using that week’s vocabulary words, but it didn’t have to be a story in the sense that there are characters with conflicts who solve their problems. Basically, we just had to write a passage that proved we knew the meanings of these words and could apply them into our own writing.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and it coincides with National Suicide Prevention Week. Both events have become more meaningful to me than ever before, but it’s not because it’s something I’ve personally dealt with.
I’ve never had suicidal tendencies and/or attempts, and I’ve never lost a loved one to suicide. But I know people who have. I know it starts with pain, and pain is something I’m very familiar with. It’s something we’re all familiar with, and I know that, if the pain becomes bad enough, it can turn into suicide.
Now that it’s Labor Day Weekend, it’s time for me to accept that summer is, unfortunately, over (even if it still feels scorching hot outside). And it’s probably something that I should have accepted two weeks ago when I school started back up again, but that’s beside the point.
This past summer was one in which I actually compiled a summer bucket list. It’s not that I hadn’t had things I wanted to do during past summers, but, this time, I actually took the time to jot down what particular activities I wanted to do during summer break. And, I’ve got to say, I fared pretty well, especially when considering the fact I rarely do much anything worth talking about during the summer.
There’s something about Disney World that occupies children’s minds, pulls them in so much that it’s the only reason they crave a trip to Florida. That’s how it was for me anyway.
I’ve wanted to go to Disney World since I was a child, and, for a while, it was the only reason I wanted to go to Florida. That changed as time went on of course—not the wanting to go to Florida part, but the reasons behind it.
I still wanted to go to Florida because of Disney World, but I also wanted to go for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just to be able to say I’ve gone to Florida, to experience the change of pace Florida is in comparison to Illinois. And now I can say I’ve done all of that.
I’m not one to smile often, and I never have been. I keep a straight face most of the time, and maybe that’s just my being an introvert. But there are rare instances in which I can’t help but smile, be happy, show everyone the positivity radiating inside of me.
June 8, 2015 was one of those days.
When I looked at the upper right corner of my Samsung Galaxy S4 and realized the time read “12:00 AM,” when I swiped left twice on my home screen to check my countdown and saw that the orange font had read “0 days,” the excitement came over me. The day had finally come: Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, was having the Chicago (Naperville) stop of his book tour.
The first sport I can remember being exposed to is basketball.
I didn’t grow up with cable television, so the NBA Finals was pretty much all the basketball I would watch for a good chunk of my childhood. But even then, basketball wasn’t the first sport I got involved with.
Soccer was the first sport I actually played, and I have no clue what brought about the interest in it. I just remember that, one day, I was really interested in the sport, and my mom let me enroll in a soccer summer camp for the park district.
I participated in a soccer summer camp two years in a row before I ditched the sport, and that was all thanks to an increased interest in basketball.
One of the things I was most excited for when I was entering college was writing for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Illini. I was so excited by the chance of potentially writing for it that I had inquired about when to apply for a spot on the staff the April before my freshman year, when I still had a month and a half of high school left.
I don’t remember what I expected to do there if I got hired. I knew I wanted to be a sports writer there, but that was the extent of it. I do, however, know that I never expected to cover the women’s gymnastics team. I didn’t know what to expect out of that beat coming into it, but I ended up really enjoying it and found a new appreciation for the sport—so much so that I decided to be the women’s gymnastics beat writer for this past year. The most surprising thing I got out of covering women’s gymnastics for two-straight seasons, though, doesn’t really have anything to do with the sport or my being a sports writer.
For a long while, I was never able to watch any All-Star events, because my family didn’t have any cable channels that weren’t Filipino channels until around 2006 or 2007, when I first started middle school. Granted, for a while, I didn’t care enough about the NBA yet to really want to watch All-Star events.
Obviously, once I got really into the NBA, I wanted to watch All-Star weekend. I’ve been able to do that for a couple of years now, which is nice.
I’ve never really written anything concerning actual All-Star events, so I wanted to do that this year, especially since I haven’t written anything about basketball in a while. However, I wasn’t up for anything ridiculously formal, like a recap of the All-Star Game or of All-Star Saturday Night, so I decided it’d just be nice to empty out all of my random All-Star Weekend-related thoughts out into this blog post.
I’ve been interested in basketball for as long as I can remember, and the same goes for the Chicago Bulls, but it wasn’t until 2003 that I really cared about the sport.
The Bulls have always been my favorite team—it was kind of hard to avoid—but I didn’t have a favorite player for the longest time. I didn’t care enough about basketball to have one. I favored Scottie Pippen a bit when I was a kid, just because I had my brother’s hand-me-down Pippen Bulls jersey, but I couldn’t even say I had even watched him play.
When 2003 rolled around, I suddenly had an increased interest in basketball—probably because my brother became more interested in it. I randomly became a fan of LeBron James and a bunch of other 2003-draftees, including Kirk Hinrich.