Kyla S. (YISS Class of 2016, Calvin College Soccer):
Playing sports largely impacted who I was in high school. Sports were an outlet for me–a place to improve my athletic ability as well as learn to lead through acts of service. Being involved in sports at YISS gave me several opportunities I would not have had otherwise. Sporting events and tournaments allowed us to travel to several different countries; however, not only did we compete, but we also immersed ourselves in the surrounding cultures, and, through the eyes of the host schools, we gained new perspectives on life. I appreciate what YISS did for me and the foundation it built for me in terms of athletics.
Personally, I love what being on a sports team has to offer both to you as an individual, and to your team as a collective unit. Therefore, when I chose not to participate in sports my first year of college, I felt myself longing for the relationships that were built and strengthened through the experiences of playing a sport together. Furthermore, I missed playing soccer at a competitive level. The next year, I persuaded myself to try out for the soccer team for my college, yet I knew that it would be a completely different experience from what I had had in high school. Playing soccer in college is more competitive, and I realized I still have a lot to learn. Although the level of play is very different and much higher, I still find the aspect of teamwork and community is valued. Now participating in a college sport, I can see myself being challenged even more, and my abilities are being taken to a new level.