Written by Caroline Ro
Sophomore Jacqueline Lu’s interest in sports began long before high school. As
a child, she played tennis, figure-skated, learned ballet and made an effort to remain active whenever she could. Most of her time, however, Lu dedicated to competitive swim- ming, which she began when she was 9-years-old.
This year, Lu is participating in one sport in each season. She was part of the junior varsity girls’ water polo team in the fall, the junior varsity girls’ basketball team in the winter and is on the varsity swim team this spring.
Last year, Lu was placed on the varsity swim team as a freshman. Her involvement in competitive swimming allowed her to be convinced by her friends to try out for water polo, which she ended up enjoying and continuing. Joining the basketball team this year wasn’t
a completely voluntary decision either, as she admits to having joined the team because of pressure from friends. However, Lu gradually developed a genuine interest for every one of the sports she participates in, which has allowed sports and exercise to become a form of relieving stress from academics.
Despite the responsibility that comes with mandatory practices and meets, Lu says that maintaining a balance between her commitment to sports and her schoolwork isn’t particularly difficult. “It doesn’t make school more stressful because it’s time to relax and do stuff that I enjoy,” Lu said.
Sports, however, have served as much more than stress-relief in Lu’s life. She believes that the opportunity to compete with a group of supportive teammates has helped her confidence grow. “It’s really empowering,” Lu said.
She also cites experiences such as waking up before dawn to attend early-morning practices and team meets as lessons in self-discipline and character-building. Despite how difficult training and competing can sometimes be, Lu views her athletic journey as a “good life experience.”