Time is Winding Down

One of the hardest decisions of my life was deciding what college I wanted to attend.

There were so many options; how could I choose just one? It seemed as if my classmates in high school had their lives all planned out. I was so focused on the present moment, trying to make the most of my high school memories, rather than figuring out my future. I honestly don’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.         

The summer after I graduated, I still didn’t know where I was going to college. It was so hard trying to decide if I wanted to stay home or go away. Before the summer I had applied to many different schools , and my basketball offers were slowly coming in. At times it made me sad knowing that the process of being recruited was taking so long. I knew I wanted to play basketball at the next level, but when you go to a little, not-known school like mine, it’s very hard to be seen by college coaches.

Some might say basketball is a hobby, but for me, it’s a lifestyle. My mom played basketball when she was in high school, and her stories inspired me to play. Basketball has helped me in many ways. This sport has connected me with many people that I will forever cherish. Basketball has a special place in my heart that holds so many memorable moments. The late nights, the early mornings, the bus rides, the laughs, the smiles, and the tears. Basketball has shaped me into the woman I am today.

As my basketball offers started to slowly come in over the summer it gave me a sense of joy that my dreams were coming true. Even though I wasn’t going to my dream school, I’m going to be the first generation to attend college and play the sport I love. I thought I had made my final decision about five times. It was so frustrating not knowing if I wanted to go to school at home, go away from home, play basketball and track on a scholarship, or not play collegiate sports at all.

My family forced me to hurry and decide because summer was almost over. That made it even harder for me. Every time I would visit family members the same question would come up in conversations, “where are you going to college?” They were like mosquitos constantly buzzing in my ears. I felt so pressured when people told me I should go here or there because they thought it was best for me. I wish I could tell you choosing a college is an easy process, but it’s not.

I thought I had finally made my decision then boom, another college offered me! I looked up the school and found out that it was a woman’s college. That was going to be a big change for me, but it wouldn’t faze me because I wasn’t going to school for boys. I thought this school wasn’t even going to be an option when I saw that it was 11 hours away from home. Then I had a dream about the school, and something kept telling me this was the one. The dream wasn’t very vivid, but I remembered it was my family and driving and I saw the name of the school on a building.

Unlike other coaches that offered me, I could tell that Coach Bell was a great person because he valued me and not just my talents. We had a genuine conversation, and it went very well. He mentioned some details about the school, program, and local area. I could feel the passion and love he had for the game of basketball. Other coaches gave off the impression of wanting me to help them win games, while Coach Bell wanted to help me win in Life!

A few days later I committed to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. I knew I was going to miss my family, but this is my journey. A small-town girl living in a big city.

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Jashyree Bell

My name is Jashyree Bell and I am currently a freshmen at Stephens College. I am majoring in Integrative Human Biology. I love to run, draw, and hang out with friends.

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