Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences
Dear Former Phenom is a collection of essays and poems covering my life as a female athlete in America, beginning when I was a small child and continuing to my retirement after my senior year as a collegiate student-athlete. As it stands, the collection is incomplete. This current version contains the core memories and the foundation of my discussion. This collection tells the story of my failure to reach my full potential as an athlete. It is the story of me constantly achieving higher and higher achievements, awards, accolades, and praise until I didn’t anymore. Until there was no one left to cheer for me, and my performance anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t play well if my career depended on it, and it did. This isn’t a story about a girl who put in the effort and the grind to be better and prove the negative influences in her life wrong and emerged victorious. This is the story of a girl who did all those things and still failed. My story does not end in fame and fortune or an impressive legacy for my schools to memorialize for future generations of players or even remember that I was ever on the team. Instead, my story is about failure. No one wants to admit that they iv never reached their full potential and failed. No one wants to remember that the worst season of their life was often their last. This is the story that no one wants to tell. I wrote this for the people like me who don’t know what to do without their sport. Whose career ended, and they still cannot cope with the thought of never stepping on a field again under the lights with a jersey that means something. I want you to know that it is okay to be angry and sad. It is okay to miss game day and even conditioning practice. It is okay to miss ice baths with the team and early morning getting heat in the training room. It is okay to miss being an athlete.
Beretta, Meredith, "Dear Former Phenom" (2022). All ETDs from UAB. 593.