Thank you for inviting me on the Palm Springs trip and also for getting me to go! My parents told me it would be a good experience and a way to get to know people in the Tennis Academy, but I really wasn't sure if I wanted or should go. A lot of these people have known each other for most of their lives and I thought I'd feel out of place; once I got there though, everyone was truly nice and inviting. I felt very included in everything from soccer to games at the end of the day in the hotel room, and I believe everyone else did too.
It was a wonderful experience for me to have to suck up some of my fears, go on the trip, talk in front of people, and spend a week with people I wasn't that comfortable with before the trip. I'm really glad I did this because I would have missed out on an experience that has changed a lot of people it seems. Hearing all the stories and seeing how emotional and touching it was for everyone was very insightful. I found it petrifying to have to go up and speak myself, but I felt accomplished afterwards and proud afterwords so thank you for that.
I've never been one to stay up late and slack in school, but your leadership talks truly do make sense. There is a right and wrong and you must learn to let the feelings go because they are capable of getting you in to a bundle of trouble. I've seen my peers get expelled from school for doing drugs, party, and just plain not come to school because they find it stupid! To me, those are just idiotic choices to make, but obviously people make them on a daily basis. It's refreshing to see and hear someone talking about ways to stay out of that troubled life and to hear stories of people who were able to switch directions in life.
If I don't go to Palm Springs or any other trip of yours again, I'm happy to have had the opportunity and was convinced to take the opportunity and go on this trip. I really do have to give you credit for getting me out of shell. Something I think I got a bit better at this week was public speaking which was something that I needed to gain confidence in. Also, I hope that I am more comfortable with getting to know new people now and I am less shy about it.
Thank you for all the lessons you taught us and the lessons the alumni taught as well. I hope that I'm able to carry some of these teachings with me. If I succeed in this, I believe they will make me a better person as I get older and learn more. I believe every experience you have will shape you as a person. It may be for the better or the worse depending on how you take it in, but I hope that I am able to become a good person who teaches others what I have learned.