I sat in an interview the other day with a fellow teammate and classmate Liza Heap about how our season has been thus far, the tremendous success of our underclassmen, and what it means to be a senior on a history-making team. Although I walked out of that room more sentimental than I did walking in, it was just what I needed as those few minutes shifted my mindset to a different way of looking at things.
As seniors, we hear time and time again to “leave a legacy.” While I fully believe in the powerful intentions behind such a phrase, it is not necessarily about leaving a legacy for the ones whose days as college-athletes are numbered. That probably sounds a bit ludicrous. Shouldn’t everyone want to leave a legacy? Doesn’t everyone want to be remembered in some way? Of course. Every human being craves satisfaction of this capacity- and it isn’t a bad thing. But to me it is less about the legacy and more about doing the things that even allow legacies to happen. If we are focused on the legacy- the end result- we turn a blind eye to what is right in front of us. We forget about the people who helped us get there. And at the end of the day, we have completely eliminated our ability to see the big picture clearly.
This big picture I speak of is what brought us here and what has kept us here over the last four to five years: Drake University. We are not to be motivated by leaving a legacy, but by paying it forward to the place and the people who believe in us with everything they have. As seniors especially, it is our last chance to pay our dues. We could easily go through the motions, be satisfied with a free education, be content with our teams success, believe our legacy has been made and move on. And even though there are somewhat negative connotations attached to “paying our dues,” it is far from negative. We don’t HAVE to pay our dues- we get to, and we want to. These dues are paid through a game we love and for a university we are privileged to represent. It’s pretty simple, really.
I firmly believe that legacies transpire through unwavering belief in who you represent. That is how legacies are made and I would go so far as to say that is also how they are defined. Drake University is the one thing that brings us all together- the wins, the points, the history, the legacy- that all seems to fall into place.