Claire was a 15-year-old girl. She played soccer, and she loved it. She spent every second possible practicing and playing soccer. Her family members often disapproved of her time devoted to playing soccer.
“Bye, mom. I’m going to soccer practice,” Claire said.
“Why are you wasting your time on soccer? That’s going to get you nowhere in life. Why don’t you stay home and do your homework!” Claire’s mom replied. Claire ignored her mother. This was a conversation they had daily. Soccer was important to Claire and she wanted to get as good as she could be. As a sophomore in high school, and an athlete, she was often looking at colleges. It was her dream to get a scholarship to Duke University for soccer. Because of this, she had to practice playing whenever possible.
She got home from soccer practice, and went outside to practice even more. Claire’s mom saw her in the backyard.
She opened the door and yelled out to Claire, “Don’t you have homework?”
“Yeah, mom. But it’s fine. I don’t have a lot. I will do it later,” replied Claire.
“Claire, please do your homework. You already wasted half of your day playing soccer. Please don’t waste more time.”
“Mom. Soccer is important to me, don’t you understand that?” Claire rolled her eyes. She was tired of her mother’s nagging at her to do her homework. Soccer was important to her and she wanted people to notice that.
It started to get dark out so Claire decided to finally go inside. She ate dinner without talking to her mom, and then she went upstairs. She started on her homework, but it was too difficult for her.
“3x+7=14-8x. Find x,” Claire said to herself. She scribbled on her paper in frustration. “I don’t know the answer!” She was overwhelmed with frustration and tried to do her other homework. She has an essay due in two days, she has to read a book for English, read textbook pages, and do a packet for chemistry. It was too much. She walked away from her homework and grabbed her phone to distract her from it.
The next day in school, Claire couldn’t focus at all. She was still aggravated by her mom and all of her difficult homework from the previous night.
“Claire, what did you get for problem 13?” asked the math teacher during class. Claire’s face turned as red as a tomato, obviously embarrassed.
“I… got… x equals 24,” Claire stuttered.
“Incorrect. Try to pay attention please!” Claire’s teacher yelled, noticing Claire was not focused. Most of Claire’s other classes went similarly. She wasn’t focused at all. After school she went to soccer, but unlike the rest of the day, she was no longer thinking about her mom.
“Claire, can I talk to you?” asked Claire’s soccer coach.
“Yeah, what is it?” replied Claire curiously.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t practice today. And you won’t be able to practice or play in games until you get your grades up”.
“What? What do you mean? My grades aren’t that bad! And even if they are, so what?” Claire was shocked and upset.
“Claire, you know the rules. You aren’t allowed to participate in extracurricular activities if you have two or more C’s,” Claire’s coach said disapprovingly. Claire went home very upset. Now what am I supposed to do? I depended on soccer. I’m not going to get into college if I have grades this bad… and I can’t play soccer!
“Hi, Claire. You are home very early. What happened?” Claire’s mom asked, perplexed.
“Well…” Claire was too embarrassed to tell her mom the reason she wasn’t at soccer. “I have two C’s, so I am not allowed to play soccer until I get them up,” she explained.
“Claire! Two C’s? I told you to study more. I understand you love soccer, but school comes first. Please go do your homework and try to get your grades up,” Claire’s mom said angrily. Claire knew her mom was right. School comes first. But that was hard for Claire, since she usually only cared about soccer. But this night, Claire listened to her mom and spent a lot of time on her homework and studying. She stayed so focused and wasn’t thinking about soccer or anything else. She was finally starting to understand math that she didn’t understand before. She also started writing her essay and she was happy with how it was coming out. After that night, Claire was very proud of herself. Claire did this every night for the rest of the week and kept working hard. She also stayed after school for extra help from all of her teachers. This was helping her understand everything better in her classes. Claire’s grades were starting to improve.
“Claire! Good job! You worked so hard and you got what you deserve!” said her mom, with a smile that lit up the room. Claire was very happy with herself. In another week, she was back at soccer. After this, Claire did a very good job of balancing schoolwork and soccer to maintain good grades.
Claire faced many roadblocks while she was trying to reach her dreams. She faced her mother, who didn’t think soccer was important, and she also faced her grades that suffered and kept her from playing soccer. Claire worked very hard on her schoolwork and she worked to balance school and soccer, which helped her overcome everything that was in the way of her dreams.