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Lauren Halpern AC'21 :: Using Obstacles As Stepping Stones

Hi y’all! My name is Lauren Halpern and I’m an out-of-state Gator from Leesburg, Virginia. As a sports journalism major in AC’21, my involvement in all things UF is only growing. Aside from being a newly initiated member in Alpha Delta Pi, I’m an aspiring ESPN Gainesville mentee with hopes of getting involved with Gator athletics as soon and as often as I can! I’m a big advocate in getting more women into sports, and I am taking that initiative with every move I make here at the University of Florida. In time to come, perhaps you’ll see me on ESPN game days alongside stunnas like Jimmy Garrapalo and Tom Brady! (:

My passion for sports began as soon as I started playing softball. At a young age, I was convinced I was born to be playing in between the lines of a diamond and played competitive travel softball for over a decade. In doing such, I created friendships that would last a lifetime and memories I would never forget. I traveled throughout the country seeking only the best competition and won championships alongside 15 other girls who I considered my sisters at the time. It became my purpose to take my love for the game to the next level at a Division I institution.

This all came to a trickling downfall when the tragedies of my right knee began. I not only tore my ACL, but my MCL, both meniscus (who even knew there was more than one), LCL, and PCL. I tore all of these things not once, not twice, but three times! As it turns out, colleges have no desire to pay for a temporary handicapped girl to play a sport at their school. As a driven and motivated athlete at the time, I was convinced my life was over. It was the end of the world if I couldn’t continue my softball journey throughout college and expand upon it in a future career. At first, I was persistent in getting my offers back and persevering throughout the physical and mental pain that my knee brought me. However, it wasn’t long before I started discovering more about myself than I ever would. I discovered there was more to Lauren Halpern than the athletic side, and that she is capable of so much more; she is capable of transforming all of the expectations she had for herself into an alternative reality.

Thus here I am attending the University of Florida, arguably (and biasly) the best athletic institution in the country with more opportunities centered around my future career than I ever thought were possible. Beginning the next four years of my life within ADPi was the best decision I could have made for myself and my own wellbeing. The women I’m surrounded by every day encourage me that I am in the right place and that everything really does happen for a reason, the way it’s supposed to. These women inspire me to live in the present and focus on what’s next; for the future is a destination only influenced by stepping stones I create for myself through the obstacles I overcome.

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