Help Do Away With Hazing? Check!

by Emily Sanford, Moscow High School

Unity? Check. Problem-Solve? Check. Leadership? Check. Membership? Check. Scholarship? Check. Awareness? Check. Goals? Check. Unveil Hazing? Check.

Life is filled with opportunities, no matter your age. We must cope with the high and low points of life each day. How do I cope and make a difference against hazing? By participating in Interscholastic sports and activities!

It is what occurs day in and day out, not the wins and losses, that determines success. Being encouraged from a young age to be active and supportive has helped me mature both mentally and physically. I have tried every sport and activity available to me. I was looking at where I succeeded, led, promoted positivity, and fit in. All the while, I was unknowingly learning there was so much more to sports and activities than just beating the team across from me.

My competitive drive has not left, but my outlook of why I participate has changed. Team stats, individual measurements and overall wins mean so much less. Winning and losing have nothing to do with my worth as a person, it’s leadership and sense of membership. Participating in a variety of pursuits, I now see a bigger picture and more important reasons to play. I learned to win and lose graciously. A bad performance or practice does not make me a bad person. I am resilient, if something does not go as planned, I know how to bounce back.

My true passions within Interscholastic Sports and Activities have become evident. What it ultimately comes down to is fostering unity, leadership, keeping having at bay, and having a great work ethic! I may have felt I was too tired to take one more step, but I pushed on. Having to miss school each week for events, but still got the classroom work done on time. The hard work, constant practice, attention to detail, checklists (Check!), and repetition are all keys to a successful performance, both on and off the field. I am not only a multi-sport athlete, as well as a dual-season and competition cheerleader, but I’ve also maintained a cumulative GPA of 4.0, while taking AP and Dual Credit Classes at the University of Idaho. This is how I make a difference, by example!

Do I know if hazing is going to happen in my future? What college, major, or career will I choose? Should I join a sorority, which historically comes with its’ own version of hazing. With difficult conversations, I know that sports and activities, as well as my stand against hazing, will always be a part of my lifelong journey.

Remembering the little girl in the stands, who dreams of being on the field, promoting high levels of confidence and self-esteem, this is how I make a difference with hazing. The lives I can impact through the opportunities I have been given are now at the forefront of my final high school year. Sports and activities have helped me see that no matter what life may throw at me, I am ready and can handle it. It may not be the route I envisioned, but I am resilient, have a great work ethic, take responsibility, have respect, show compassion, am ethical and have integrity, perseverance, am dedicated, a team player, self-disciplined, and committed. In more ways than the crowds can see based on wins and losses, I’m grateful for the opportunities I have had, and the life skill sports and activities have taught me along the way.

Unity? Check. Problem-Solve? Check. Leadership? Check. Membership? Check. Scholarship? Check. Awareness? Check. Goals? Check. Help Do Away With Hazing? Check!

NFHS High School Essay Contest
2023 Honorable Mention (NFHS Section 8)
Emily Sanford
Moscow High School
Moscow, ID