Torn feelings, torn ACL

When move-in day arrived, I was excited. I woke up that morning at around 5, showered, and got ready for the day. I was a little suspicious when I had to drive up onto the sidewalk to move into my dorm, but campus police said it was the right way, so I drove up anyway. My parents and I were the first ones there, so it was pretty quiet and easy, but I was nervous—not to move in, though. I was nervous because of my parents. My parents are divorced and don’t get along. I was worried that my day would be spent trying to avoid conflicts and resolve others. But the process went smoothly and soon I said my goodbyes to my dad and mom. I was excited but also sad, and I couldn’t help feeling that Geneseo had come between my family and me. Later that same day, my younger brother Broderick took his driver’s test. I was extremely upset that I couldn’t celebrate with him when he got his license. My brother has always been a really important person in my life. We were together through everything, and now I couldn’t be there for one of his biggest milestones. I was upset by this, but I knew he would have other people to celebrate with.

I avoided my room for most of the day. I wanted to give my roommate space for when she moved in with her family. I spent the day walking around campus. I was optimistic about my time at Geneseo, hoping to meet new people and experience different things, but I knew I didn’t want to change who I was. Yes, I missed my family but my curiosity about my first semester at Geneseo clouded my sadness. Throughout the rest of that first week, I appreciated the activities Geneseo provided and I met a couple of friends in my orientation group and my dorm. But it was also hard trying to meet people; we were all in gigantic groups and I have never been an outgoing person. I mostly kept to myself and talked only when spoken to. I started to regret being here and not at home.

One of the clubs I was excited to join was club soccer. I have played soccer for 14 years and it’s been one of my many joys in life. Through this sport, I was hoping to meet more people like me. Initially, I was happy to be on the team and even made the A team. Yet as the weeks went on, my excitement started to decrease along with my mood. I wasn’t all that eager about soccer. I would go and get some good exercise, but I still hadn’t connected with the girls, which just made me miss my old soccer team. I missed home, too. It was really difficult for me most days to wake up and know I wouldn’t be able to see anyone from home. The only thing that kept me motivated was the weekends because I knew I’d be able to go home and be with my family. Some weekdays my dad, mom, and siblings would come to see me, especially the times when I was struggling the most. However, my club soccer games were also always on the weekends, which had its benefits and its downfalls. With games on the weekend, I knew I’d have time to complete my assignments for the upcoming week, but then I didn’t have the opportunity to go home to see my family, my boyfriend, and my friends. At least one of my parents and sometimes my siblings were always at my games, which was life-saving for me. It felt normal and freeing to talk with them and be happy. On the fateful day of Saturday, September 25th, my club soccer team had our first home game, and everything changed.

The game began perfectly. It was the first game of the season where I started, and I felt comfortable in my position at left mid. During the first half, everything seemed to click: I had a couple of good moves, was in the right spots at the right times, had good runs and good passes, and I played a majority of the half. It was thrilling and I felt really good. When the second half began, I started the half, and when I got pulled out, I was quickly put back in after one of my teammates had an injury on the field. I remember getting onto the field and having a breakaway right off the bat. I got around the first girl, dribbled about half field, and just as I was about to pass the ball into the middle of the field, a girl on the opposing team collided with me from behind. My knee gave away, twisted, and popped, and soon I was on the ground. At that moment, I felt a range of emotions: my knee was blistering in pain and all I could think of was that I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t put any weight on my knee, and I couldn’t drive! I couldn’t drive HOME! I’d be unable to walk to my classes, to the dining hall, to anywhere. As soon as I was carried off of the field by my teammates, I was not only writhing in pain, but my head was spinning. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to go home again. I would have to recover without my family. I already felt isolated and alone at school, but with what I soon learned is an ACL injury, I would have to spend my time here in pain as well. However, things worked out, and I was allowed to go home to recover.

I feel relaxed being at home around family and friends and similar surroundings. However, I know I will probably have to return to campus one day soon. Some of my courses are challenging, but I know I am capable of doing the work, and I appreciate my professors who have helped me through this ordeal. I wanted to like Geneseo, but after my injury, I feel as though this place just isn’t for me. I plan on transferring to a college closer to my hometown in the spring. Nevertheless, I’m happy that I was able to experience life away from home at Geneseo, even if it was only for a couple of months, and I realize now how brave and resilient I am.