What I Learned as a High School Cheerleader
At first, cheerleading was supposed to be what I did in my free time, to be a stress reliver. As a freshman, I did not necessarily enjoy cheering like I thought I would, as a sophomore, I made varsity, and I fell in love. Cheering became my number one priority. Then came junior year, I was officially captain of the cheer squad, I was in charge of 20 other people and 7 of them were older than I was. They decided to make my life a living hell. Collectively, they did not positively contribute to ANYTHING that was trying to be accomplished, ever, and they tried to convince coach that I was not fit to be captain, but I was persistent and never gave up. I tried out for captain one more time. As a senior, I could scream from the rooftops that I was a returning varsity captain, which does not happen quite often. Little did I know, I had a season FULL of trouble worse than the year before. This time, the squad just had no respect, not for me, not the coaches, not the other teams, and certainly not themselves. I thought I had been broken. I went night after night crying to myself because cheer had need a part of my life for so long, and yet this is how I was going to spend my senior year?! So, I picked my head up and I made a choice, I would not let those girls get to me. I would show them why I was chosen to be captain, why I deserved their respect.
But, unfortunatel, in the end, they still got the best of me. I realized that it was not worth my time to constantly struggle and argue with 10 people who I knew were just there for the skirt and the title. I was better than that and I was not going to let them ruin my self confidence.
Now, I do not cheer, and I do not miss it. Cheer taught me that you have to have thick skin if you want to make it anywhere, you have to be able to stand up for yourself and make decisions that are best for you. Keeping your mental health at peace is better than trying to argue with a brick wall...
© 2017 Lexi Denen