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distance Offline
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Am I letting them down? - June 10th 2010, 03:35 PM

I've always been involved with sports. Currently, I'm a very successful triathlete and will run XC in HS school (first year, as a senior), swim HS (sophomore/junior year) and swim for a year-round team.

I'll be a senior next year and want to quit my HS team. I figure that I'll be running XC for my HS and still swim for my year-round team- swimming for HS PLUS all my AP (I'm taking every class AP next year!) will completely stress me out. Also, we don't really do anything for HS swimming- no improvement and just a lot of time commitment. I'd much rather go to more/all my year-round practices and meets and see some improvement. In addition, I feel that quitting HS swimming would give me time to work on triathlon training (get in a few bike workouts a week too), since I'll be competing at the national (and potentially international) level soon.

Here's the catch: my parents don't want me to quit. They say that I'm just being selfish for quitting, saying that the HS swim team was the reason I transfered schools (I switched school soph-junior year), which isn't true. They say that I HAVE to finish my HS career with 3 years of swimming (even if I don't swim senior year HS, I'll still have 2 years of HS swimming, 3 years of HS track and field, and 1 year or HS XC). They say colleges will regect me if I quit swimming senior year, or I won't get any financial aid (I don't plan on going to a very competitive-admisison school, and I'm easily in the top 10% of my class. Would I really not get in if I didn't swim senior year?).

I told them I'm not happy with the coaching. They said I never complained about the coach... I told them about the multiple times the coach forgot I was in a race and didn't see my swim. I brought up a few other examples of where I wasn't happy with the coach (she has very obvious favorites, and will make their votes count more during a team voting... that isn't right!). My parents say that I'm just fishing for reasons to quit.

Worst, they say that I'm letting my best friend down if I quit the team. We met this past year (Junior) and do everything together. I've talked to her and told her I may quit, gave her my reasons, and said she understands. We're not really close to the rest of the team, so my parents say I'll be abandoning her next year if I quit the team, and I'm just being selfish. My friend and I already decided we'll run XC together.

I don't know what to do! I really don't want to swim next year, but I feel like I have to for my parents. They're making me feel really guilty about the whole situation (esp. the best friend thing. I feel so bad that I might be abandoning her!) and I don't know what to do. help please?
   
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Re: Am I letting them down? - June 10th 2010, 07:11 PM

Welcome to TeenHelp! =D

First of all, you are an INCREDIBLY competitive applicant for just about any university out there. =) You've got the grades, the extra-curricular activities, and the will to succeed. With strong personal statements on top of all that, you'll have no problem getting into one of your top choices.

Dropping swimming at the HS level won't jeopardize your chances, unless you're trying to get an athletic scholarship specifically for swimming. If you're just looking to apply for regular financial aid (ex. FAFSA), then dropping one thing will not hurt you at all.

It sounds like you spent a lot of time thinking about this on your own, and THEN you told your parents what you wanted to do. It's probably coming as a bit of a surprise for them. You had one reason for quitting: devoting your time and energy into things that are more meaningful for you. Your parents didn't think that reason was good enough, so you felt like you had to keep justifying your decision with other things... which then made it seem like you were fishing for excuses. While it may look that way from your parents' point-of-view, it doesn't from mine. If they would have been willing to just accept your decision right from the beginning, you wouldn't have had to "prove" anything to them by coming up with points about your coach.

In response to your question... yes, you are letting your parents down. WHO CARES? As you grow older (if you can consider 21 "old", haha!), you'll discover that, more and more, you'll need to make decisions that work for YOU, not for anyone else. Whether it be something small, like what classes you take, or something large, like changing your major, you need to make the decisions that are right for YOU... the decisions that won't let YOU down. Ultimately, YOU are living this life, not your parents (although they may try to live it through you). You know that quitting the HS swim team will be the best thing for you... so do it!

As for your parents, I would write down one, maybe two strong reasons why you want to quit the swim team. Write them down, so that you can refer to your notes when talking to your parents. Make your reasons as clear and to-the-point as possible, so that it doesn't sound like you're rambling on and on. 1) It's a waste of time. 2) You would be better off by focusing your time and energy into other things. That's it. Nothing about your coach or best friend, because this isn't about them... it's about YOU. Think of any comebacks your parents might have (like the financial aid argument). Either look up the information in advance (look on the university's website or call someone from their financial aid office) or say something like "Well, why don't we set your minds at ease by calling the university now? I know it won't affect my chances of receiving financial aid, but you should know, too." No arguing, just the facts. Your parents could be misinformed and worried that your decision will ultimately work against you, so you need to show them that's not the case.






   
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Re: Am I letting them down? - June 10th 2010, 07:59 PM

Do what makes you happy. If you feel you aren't happy with the coach, but want to continue swimming, join a different team. If you don't want to swim at all, then there's nothing wrong with quitting if it doesn't interest you any more. I don't think colleges will reject you, your application is already great if what you say is true. Don't let your parents intimidate you. It's mean of them to expect you to continue with something you don't like anymore. Plus it sounds like you're already very busy as is. So do what makes you happy, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
   
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Re: Am I letting them down? - June 10th 2010, 08:04 PM

Wow, thank you so much for your response! I've been looking around TeenHelp a little and it's an extremely helpful, supportive, and non-judgmental website. I'm so happy I found it!

Right now my parents are refusing to touch the subject until later and say I need to think about it more, saying it's too sudden of a decision and I loved the team (no, I've been thinking about it for a long time now, and I had no problems skipping HS practice-like the last day- when I could afford to)

They want me to start with the swim team and drop it mid-season if I want. Honestly, I think that's unfair to the team. First of all, that's dropping a commitment after I started it, which is different than declining the invitation to the team from the get-go. In addition, to get on this team, there are summer try-outs and only ~30% of the kids make it. It would be fair to state my intentions so another swimmer can take my place.

I'm automatically on the team next year, but try-outs and team roster is set mid-July. Should I keep pushing the subject now? Get a set decision (one that I can accept) before tryouts? Wait until after tryouts?

I know it's okay to sometimes let my parents down. But they do so much for me that I feel obligated (and they remind me I'm obligated) to perform as they wish. They're always saying how I "don't have enough school spirit" and "am missing out on high school because I don't go to football games" or "sleep in past 7AM" and need high school swimming to make sure I'm still "part of the high school".
They want me to be a "normal high school girl" and I'm not! At least, not by their standards.

(Also, I don't know how college financial aid got into this picture. I know- and they know- that another year of swimming won't affect my FAFSA)

SuburbanTiger- I don't want to quit swimming at all! I absolutely love it! That's why I want to quit HS swimming, so I can focus more on my year-round team (which is the best!) and see improvement.

Last edited by distance; June 10th 2010 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Added on
   
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Re: Am I letting them down? - June 11th 2010, 01:46 AM

there's no use in doing something your heart doesn't want to do.


I came here to help out, so if you wanna talk or just need someone to bounce ideas or issues off of or something else then send me a message and I will reply as soon as I can.
   
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Re: Am I letting them down? - June 14th 2010, 04:10 AM

UPDATE-

My parents said that I'll be able to make a decision before tryouts. Or rather, THEY'LL make a decision before tryouts (which is when the roster is set). They're starting to see my side of the situation... at least a little bit. I'll keep pushing for it though. Any other ideas about how to convince them?
   
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Re: Am I letting them down? - June 16th 2010, 01:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by distance View Post
UPDATE-

My parents said that I'll be able to make a decision before tryouts. Or rather, THEY'LL make a decision before tryouts (which is when the roster is set). They're starting to see my side of the situation... at least a little bit. I'll keep pushing for it though. Any other ideas about how to convince them?
The best way is to stand your ground. You just have to stand your ground.


I came here to help out, so if you wanna talk or just need someone to bounce ideas or issues off of or something else then send me a message and I will reply as soon as I can.
   
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