Article by: Sacha Bindra
Photograph by: Juan Periquet
With first season IASAS just around the corner, ISM athletes, students, and faculty are starting to feel all kinds of emotions from excitement to nervousness to dread of the ending season. However, some athletes, especially seniors who are possibly approaching their final IASAS tournaments, are definitely experiencing some bittersweet feelings. For those who specialize in one sport, the “#SentiSenior” hashtag may hit hard, even though the school year is still far from over. Many are already reflecting on the great experiences they have had and the bonds they have made over the last few years, while simultaneously preparing for some new memories to be made during the upcoming IASAS.
Senior Malaika J., is soon approaching her final soccer IASAS to be held in Jakarta, and is looking back at her incredible past few years on the team with a strong mix of emotions. For Malaika, football is integral part of her life. She says, “it’s something that’s made me into the person I am today.” Sports and IASAS clearly have an impact on the lives of players, especially for those who have been playing them for quite some time; consequently, some may feel melancholic about leaving the sport behind as they begin to welcome in a new era of their lives beyond IASAS and high school sports.
IASAS has always been a place to build unity among teams and schools, compete in a sport you love, and learn valuable life lessons throughout. Malaika specifically recounts her first games at TAS in Taipei, stating, “I had so much fun and made so many good friends!” On and off the field, court, or track, IASAS imparts knowledge and life lessons that stick with departing seniors long after they graduate. Malaika added that IASAS mainly taught her about “patience and perseverance.” Although it occasionally has been disheartening, she knows “that every year there is room to grow and room to improve.”
Looking forward, there are still plenty of great experiences left to be had as some last-time senior athletes enter IASAS in mid-October. Upon being asked what her goals and hopes for their final tournaments are, Malaika answered, “to give each game 100%”, “to win a medal”, but “to most importantly, have fun”. Furthermore, what many seniors mentioned they would miss most was the Bearcat spirit, stating that “there is nothing like [it].” Although Bearcat pride is best at when at home, school pride is something that seniors can take with them into the next stage of their lives, at new schools or on new teams.