Nathan Krauzlis’s senior reflection

Coming into high school, I was determined to not only play varsity baseball as soon as possible but to also pursue that passion into college. However, just as many other things change when you enter high school as a 14 year old and leave a legal adult, my passion waned over the years.

High school is only four years of a much longer life, but in the moment, it can feel larger than life. After all, until then, no period in our lives has been as long or consequential. A near quarter of your life at this point, a plethora of firsts too numerous to mention, and a movie-like expectation all set up high school to be something that you’ll never forget – for better or worse. However, regardless of your high school experience, what it does offer universally is a chance to grow.

Playing competitive baseball for nearly a decade means it’s been an integral part of my life since I was 11, and this truth maintained its weight as I entered high school. After missing significant time on JV freshman year due to injury, I spent the next three years (2 technically – because of a pandemic that happened or something) playing varsity baseball. During this time, I made some of my favorite high school and baseball memories: throwing my first varsity inning, playing a shortened but extremely tough 10 game schedule as a junior, and being a key part of the team with the best record WJ baseball has ever had in my senior year.

Despite these moments, however, I can’t help but feel like something has changed. I don’t quite have the same fire for the sport I used to devote so much to and the past me would have been much more excited over these memories than I am right now. Maybe it’s because I gave up on trying to play college baseball, or maybe it’s because I could never learn how to use my hips efficiently, but regardless, that fire has still dimmed. Feeling like you’ve lost something, especially something that meant so much, can be jarring, but it also opens the door to the rest of your life.

In place of baseball, I’ve become more engrossed in other passions like writing, politics, and doing critical analysis of my favorite art (which mandates lengthy Netflix binges), as well as looking forward to college and the new journey I’m about to embark on. High school can be very linear in terms of what path it sets you on, but during these four years I still managed to learn something about myself. Moving on can be hard and feel disorientating, but it’s also necessary at every age and stage of life. High school gave me the chance to learn this lesson early on, and that’s one of many great things I’ll remember about my four years at Walter Johnson.