“I think it made me feel bad at first,” says Golden High School senior Katie Hageman.
Not only did she feel bad that her senior soccer season was likely dissolving in front of her eyes, she felt the guilt of getting to move on without her teammates.
“I definitely have felt that guilt a little bit,” says Hageman. “Knowing that of my senior friends, I’m one of the only people that’s going to go on and play collegiate soccer.”
Hageman is continuing her athletic career at Wayne St. in Nebraska. It’s the culmination of years of hard work, and that isn’t lost on her friends.
“A lot of them have mentioned it,” remembers Hageman. “'At least you still get those four years.’”
But right now, four more years provide little comfort.
“It doesn’t make it any easier I’d say,” says Hageman. “Everybody understands that everybody is losing their senior year, and it sucks just as much for one as it does for the other.”
The guilt Katie feels isn’t the result of peer pressure or jealousy, it comes from somewhere within; however, that doesn’t make it any easier to navigate.
She’s doing her best to process the emotional tsunami crashing upon her shores while leaning on her friends for support.
“These girls are my family, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team,” says Hageman. “As much as it may have made me feel guilty, I’m able to let go of those feelings and know that we’re all going through this together. They can be happy for me that I’m going forward, and I can still try and support them even though they may not have the same options as me.”