How My College Teammates Turned Into My Family For Life

by Sierra Vandervort

They say that college is the best four years of your life; it's where you’ll meet your maid of honor, your best man or your future cul-de-sac neighbors. Well, I don’t know who they are, but unless they’ve met my rugby teammates, they have no idea how close you can become with your college friends.

Fraternities and sororities have nothing on the rugby girls.

Maybe it’s the physical representation of hell we endure together that is conditioning. Maybe it’s spending every weekend together, traveling for games. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all neighbors or that we always have our heads too close to each other's asses in the scrums.

Regardless of the reasoning, any rugby player (or member of a sports team, for that matter) understands the bond you develop with your teammates. I can honestly say I’ve never felt more connected to a group of girls in my short 19 years of life.

I’ve found mentors, roommates and best friends. I’m not one for being corny or sentimental, but I am who I am today because of these women. If you’ve never tried playing a team sport, you should because it’s the most rewarding experience imaginable.

My teammates are so comfortable with each other. We know we can hang out with our dirty knees and our matted hair after a game without being judged. We can be beer-bloated and make wiener jokes without coming across as childish.

We can carry each other home and hold back each other's hair back without falter because we know anyone on the team would do the same for us. We’ll jump to a teammate's defense in any situation, because no one messes with us.

We’ll coach each other through the sprinting, the bear crawls and the up-downs because there’s no greater motivation than knowing you’re part of a team.

We actually laugh at the idea of any of us having friends outside of the team. You mean they don’t play rugby or outdrink the majority of men? HA.

We truly are a sisterhood. We have each other’s backs, no matter what obstacles we face, and if you mess with one of us, you’ll face the wrath of the whole pack. We might seem crazy, but when it comes to our teammates, we don’t play around.

I know that I could never repay any of these girls for the changes and inspirations they’ve brought to my life. But, all things considered, I’d like to thank them.

Thank you for giving me a chance and for teaching me what it means to be one part of a bigger whole. Thank you for showing me that true sisters won’t belittle you or make you feel unwanted in any way, shape or form. Thank you for giving me greater memories than I could have ever dreamed.

Thank you for mentoring me and pushing me when I thought I had nothing left to give. There’s honestly not a single one of you whom I don’t love. Every one of you has taught me or inspired me in some way.

Nothing will be able to compensate for all you’ve given me. Regardless, this letter is for you, ladies. You’re all my best friends. Thank you for that.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr