This is Dear Duke, a summer series where our Class of 2018 seniors reflect on their time spent as student-athletes at Duke University.
You weren't always my dream school growing up. As a kid from Kentucky, I was raised to hate you quite frankly (thanks to Christian Laettner). Little did I know, starting in the fall of 2013, I’d soon begin to love you.
I never thought I fit the typical Duke student profile. As a freshman, I was shy, nervous and intimidated by Duke’s reputation of excellence and even more so by the impressive students that surrounded me. I distinctly remember sitting in Convocation freshman orientation week hearing about all the incredible accomplishments my peers had already achieved. A Google International Science Fair winner, World Champion of this, Founder of that, etc. I immediately thought they made a mistake admitting me.
However, with some time (and some struggles), I soon realized I had something special to offer just like the rest of my amazing classmates and soon to become some of my lifelong best friends. Duke helped me break out of my comfort zone and realize my true potential. It challenged me academically, athletically, and socially, but nothing ever worth having comes easy. With Duke’s high demands and expectations, I learned that I was capable of much more than I could have ever imagined.
At Duke I was immersed among so many incredibly intelligent people from all walks of life that both challenged and motivated me. Thanks to my classmates, professors, teammates, and coaches I learned how to think critically, prioritize, lead, handle adversity and most importantly how to be a good teammate and friend.
Playing in Cameron Indoor for 4 years with Duke across my chest was an experience like no other. There’s no better feeling in the world then running out on that court with my teammates. Duke, you helped shape me into the person I am today, granted me a world-class education and gave me memories and relationships I’ll value for the rest of my life.