As Boston College students, it can be tempting to hide our true selves. Embracing our individuality can help us to understand ourselves and experience the world around us as genuinely as possible. Authentic Eagles is a series that gives a voice to the people who have experienced firsthand the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of being one’s authentic self at BC. We hope that readers are inspired to have conversations and reflections of their own, working towards being more authentic.
Spenser Rositano, LSOE’15
Every morning as the sun rises some are blessed with the opportunity to see another day while others are forever gone from this material world. If one is lucky enough to see another day, then they are challenged with new obstacles and are given new opportunities to grow as a whole. Every day I should wake up excited, grateful, and motivated to not only chase my dreams, but to help those I associate with achieve their dreams as well. Life should be less focused on receiving, and more focused on giving. I did not fully understand this idea – or conceptual way of living – until I attended Boston College and had to stop playing football.
On November 4, 2013 I was advised by doctors that it would be in my best interest to hang up my jersey and retire from football due to the amount of concussions I have sustained. As I sat in the doctor’s office hearing this news with my parents, I slowly felt numb and weak. Hearing news like that was more than devastating; I felt as if a part of me had just died. It was the first time in my life I can honestly say I was lost and did not know what to do or where to look.
Growing up, football was the one sport where I felt whole as a person. For example, whenever I would suit up for practice or games, everything in my life seemed to disappear. Football was my escape from the world where I could truly be myself while being loving, passionate, and emotional towards my teammates who shared a common goal and had as much love for the game as I did. Oftentimes people see football players as “meat heads” or “jokes”, but in reality football players are no different than anyone else; they set goals, they are passionate about something they love and they will do anything they can to achieve their goals.
Life is short, and it comes with different trials and tribulations. What matters is the choice to choose a particular attitude towards a given situation. After hearing the news I had a choice to make. I could either continue to feel bad about my situation, or I could learn, grow and apply all that I have acquired over the years and start a new chapter in my life.
Initially, after hearing the news it took me several weeks of crying uncontrollably, talking to family and friends and praying to God for me to realize just how lucky and blessed I truly was to be given the opportunity to even play football. Football had allowed me to grow as a leader, have an impact on others’ lives, meet many great people and create a bond with people that will never be broken. Football has also taught me many great life lessons as well. To name a few that have had the biggest impact on my life: I have learned about setting high goals, overcoming adversity, faith, pride, perseverance, loyalty and embracing the little things that life has to offer.
Life is full of opportunities, but the timing of each one is truly unique and special. Although I could not play football anymore, I took a positive, or optimistic, mind-set going into the spring semester of my junior year and I made the most out of every opportunity. As the spring semester came to a close I was able to finish strong academically, I become a student coach for the football team and I earned a summer job as an Orientation Leader.
After self-reflecting and looking at the bigger picture, I truly believe that becoming an orientation leader and being a student coach for my team was my calling and reason for coming to Boston College. I had to stop playing the game I loved so dearly, but am now able to give back to a school that has given me so much. In one of the lowest times in my life, my family, friends and the Boston College community were there every step of the way. My family and friends were able to lift my spirits, but Boston College had provided me with the opportunities of a lifetime: becoming an Orientation Leader and student coach. Being an Orientation Leader and a student coach has given me the opportunity to guide, mentor and help others advance and grow in their future endeavors.
Every day I strive to wake up excited, grateful and motivated to not only chase my dreams, but to help those I associate ourselves with achieve their dreams as well. Through each trial and tribulation I have gained knowledge, maturity and have grown in my faith. To remind myself to embrace the day and take advantage of every opportunity, I got a tattoo that says, “Look Up, Get Up, and Don’t Ever Give Up”.