Senior Column: ‘When you really think about it, high school is a lot like baseball’

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Meghan Kennedy, Staff Writer

Hi, my name is Meghan Kennedy, and I’m obsessed with the Kansas City Royals.
If you even remotely know me, you wouldn’t be surprised that my story is about baseball, let alone the Royals.
But, I’m not here to go on and on about them just so I can fill up space on a page.
I have a point — I promise.
Because, when you really think about it, high school is a lot like baseball.
So, you had a bad day.
But you know what?
That’s life.
No matter what happens, you are still going to have people who love you unconditionally.
The Royals have had nearly three decades of bad days, but there isn’t a day I won’t stand by them. And, the best part? I’m not the only one.
It took third baseman Mike Moustakas seven whole games before he got his first hit of the season. Yet, he is still one of the crowd favorites on the team.
Up until 2013, the Royals did not have a winning season in the previous decade. Ten whole years of losing records — if that doesn’t test your team loyalty, then I don’t know what does.
But, it isn’t just about the numbers, records or awards the team has received — just like high school. It’s about what has been learned from the experience. It’s about perseverance, and it’s about sticking with something, even when the going gets tough.
Freshman year, you’re sitting on first base. Home plate seems so far away, but it’s way closer than you think. The future of the game is in the palm of your hands, and you have to make smart choices so you make it to home plate.
High school is a marathon, not a sprint. So, if you take your time and pace yourself, you’ll be fine.
But remember not to steal bases, no matter how much you think you’re ready to be done. The game goes by fast enough as it is, so you might as well enjoy the time you have left on the bases.
By the time you’re a sophomore, you’ve made it to second. You’re halfway done — just stuck in the middle.
Junior year, you’re all the way on third. This is arguably the hardest position. You’re at risk of being thrown out by one wrong move, so this is when everything begins to count. By now, you’re ready to leave, and the only thing on your mind is getting home and away from the rest of the bases.
And, finally comes senior year. You’ve made it through every base, every obstacle and every opponent without getting out. It feels like you were on first base just yesterday, but all that’s left are the memories.
If I’ve learned anything from running these bases, it’s one thing — no matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter what you like, there will be someone who does not like you.
And what if you wake up tomorrow and that person hits you with a pitch?
It’ll probably hurt for a little bit — maybe even leave a mark.
But, you’ll be OK.
So, let them hit you with a pitch.
Because while they think they’re hurting you, they’re really hurting themselves because you’re already on first and that much closer to scoring.
Maybe you strike out.
And you know what? You’ll always get another chance at the plate. As Babe Ruth said, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
Don’t let someone get in the way of you loving something and loving it with a passion.
Not everyone’s going to like it, trust me. What I’ve come to learn is that those people do not matter.
Because if you’re passionate about something, then you’ve already won.
You never know what you miss out on when you sprint from first to home. You never know the true happiness you’ll get from something you love if you let someone stand in the way. You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
And you never know when that perfect pitch is coming.