My alma mater is Syracuse University (go orange!), and other than the incredible friends and memories that I made and the immense way that I grew as a student, an intellectual and a person in general, one of the greatest things I took away is the love of college sports that going to Syracuse instilled in me.
Backtrack! I was born and raised in Queens, New York and one of the unique things about New York City high schools is that you aren’t bound to go to your locally zoned school. While this is always an option, you may also choose to apply to another type of high school that you feel might fit you better, kind of like going on to pursue an advanced degree in college, but for no cost.
There are always private schools, but there are also numerous public high schools that require no tuition but are geared toward those with specific talents and interests. I auditioned for a performing arts high school and “majored” in drama for four years. Essentially, this meant that while I took my regularly required courses including APs and regents exams, I also took a core set of drama courses daily.
While I wouldn’t change my high school experience for anything, it was far from ordinary. I graduated with what felt like a family (read: my school was selective), and typical things like football games and raging house parties were unbeknownst to me. I kept my college options open, but I knew I wanted something completely different, which led me to Syracuse. Mind you I also visited the school on one of the only sunny days the school would see all year, but regardless, it was love at first sight. The university’s emphasis on sports and school spirit totally tipped the scale in my decision making, and has stuck with me long since graduation.
Point is, I’m not a sports freak by any means, but when college basketball season rolls around, I am like a kid on Christmas, itching to see “my boys” in orange do me proud. The spirit the school has for sports is unparalleled in my opinion, with a sea of orange filling every home game. Had I not gone to Syracuse, who knows if I’d be “the son my father never had,” able to fluently speak a language (sports) that was previously gibberish to me. Syracuse played two games this opening weekend and won both and I could not be more stoked for a season full of rooting and post-grad pride.
GIRL TALK TIME: Do you root for a specific sports team? Was there a certain event that sparked a love for sports in you? What are your favorite sports traditions?