Jenna’s College Essay


Jenna Husson, Contributor

“She can’t play up a division. She’s too little.”

This is what my mom heard when she tried to sign me up for coach pitch softball at Jack Barry Little League. Was I really too little to play with the big kids? Were they only doing this to try to hold me back from what I really wanted to do? Whatever the case was, I knew that I needed to prove to myself and the coach that a wrong decision was made. 

In my first game of tee ball, I went up to bat feeling pretty nervous. Imagine a little four year old girl who has never played a game of tee ball before trying to show a group of middle-aged men that they were wrong. My first hit EVER was a line drive to some kid who probably wasn’t expecting a 4 year old to hit a ball that hard (to whoever I hit, I am SO sorry). I remember feeling so badly for hitting that poor kid that I was the one crying on first base. Looking at that scenario, was I really too little to play up?

One day when I was sitting at home, the man that said that I was “too little” to play up called my mom. I couldn’t think anything except, “Is he gonna tell me that I’m not good enough to play on the team I’m on right now, in the same way he did 9 years prior?” Well, I think he had finally recognized the mistake he made, because he asked me to play up on his team with 13-16 year olds. As a 12 year old who had seen these girls play before, there was no way that I would be good enough to play with them, but the coach had apparently seen something in me that I had not seen in myself. Although terrified and full of doubt, I took the opportunity, which brought me to a level of competition that I would face for the next 3 years in my recreational softball career. I remained a starter all season long, as well as the seasons after that. So, was I really too little to play up?

This past summer, I was asked to play in a tournament with girls who were significantly older than me and also play at the college level. Once again, I felt like a small fish in a huge pond. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be there. Even though I have plenty of softball experience under my belt, in that moment I felt like I wasn’t good enough to compete with the big kids. Sound familiar? I was beyond terrified. Well, it turns out I was exactly where I needed to be in that moment in my career as a softball player. In the first game, I was told to warm up pitching next to one of the older girls, who just so happened to lead her college to a championship. No pressure there, right? To my surprise, I ended up playing some of the best games I have ever played, as I had no walks while pitching and hit an out of the park home run off a college pitcher. So, was I really too little to play up?

I think about those moments every year before the start of a new softball season, as well as other challenges that life throws at me, such as difficult classes in school. I know that I am right where I should be, and I am capable of doing whatever work needs to be done. Even when I doubt myself, I use those situations in my softball career as reminders that I am good at what I do and I deserve to be where I am. So yeah, I guess I do have what it takes to play with the big kids. 



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