Kailyn Wead's feelings toward the next stage of her life are really no different than any other typical teenage girl.
The Gallatin County High School senior talks about being excited, scared and nervous.
But for Wead, one thing is certain. She is ready for the next stage in her future.
Wead signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Southeastern Illinois College.
"I'm really excited," Wead said moments after signing her name on the dotted line inside the school's library. "It's scary because I'm a senior now and I'm going to be in college next year. I love softball. It's my favorite thing to do, but I'm just nervous and excited at the same time."
There was a time when Wead had dreams and aspirations of being a shortstop. That dream was short lived when she was thrown into the role of becoming a pitcher for the Hawks' softball team.
It's a role that she's accepted and even excelled at, despite her dislike at the onset.
"I have to thank coach (Robert) Patton so much for everything he has been able to do for me," Wead said. "Last year, I didn't play, so this year is going to be a little bit of an adjustment for me to come back and play at the level I was playing at when I was a sophomore.
"I know I'm going to have to work hard to put myself back in that position I was in a year ago."
As far as her future at SIC, Wead will welcome any position the Falcons and head coach Ross Hill have her play. In the meantime, she's working on improving her game.
"Shortstop, pitching, I can catch; I can play wherever they want me. Pitching and shortstop are my favorite, but I've been working since December, getting back in the gym and working out. Radar has been on me, he's really pushing me to work harder this year. I've never been the type to work in the offseason, but this year, I've been doing a lot of that."
The opportunity to stay close at home was something Wead wanted to steer away from, but after the birth of her daughter, she knows being close to friends and family is one of the smartest decisions she was able to make.
"I wanted to go away, before I had my baby, but it's better to stay here 'money-wise' and help raise my daughter.
"I'm just focused on my future, getting settled and starting my future."
Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.