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Grayson Wotnosky

To my first year self,

To my first-year self: You’re sitting on the lawn one month before you walk down it for the last time as an undergraduate. You’ve accomplished plenty of your team and individual goals—take a deep breath.
Along the way here are some things to make your time here even more impactful:

Discover the joy of self-sufficiency. Don’t rely on others or events for your happiness. Take charge of new experiences; venture to new places just to broaden your horizons. When you reflect on your college years, it won't be just the games and competitions that stand out – it’ll be the moments you carved out for yourself to pursue your passions. Evolve as a person, not just as an athlete, and stay true to that.

Be an energy giver. The most vibrant, fun, adventurous people make others feel energetic themselves. Learn how to be this person. If you’re ever not this person, take time alone to make sure you are. Cherish times with friends, appreciate the moment, and learn how to make the simple times the best times.

Start hobbies outside your sport that give you confidence and that are an outlet. This will remove your dependence on how sports makes you feel. People judge quickly and aren’t always thoughtful. Build the belief that you are enough and that you’re proud of who you are on your own.

Don’t expect to be perfect. You want perfection, but you’ll have to learn to be adaptable and okay with doing the best you can sometimes.

Listen to that itch to explore. You want to play great golf and be an important part of the team, and there’s also an itch to branch out and learn more about everything else UVA has to offer. Take some time to learn a little about different things. Just go and do things; even if you don’t like it, it’s a new experience for yourself. After 4 years of golf, experiences outside the sport at UVA are just as important – don’t feel bad for doing this.

I won’t say too much more because that’s for you to learn and adapt.

Grayson Wotnosky

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