September 12, 2018
Crista Samaras made headlines as a nationally ranked lacrosse player at Princeton from 1994-1999 and a gold medalist in the 2001 IFWLA World Cupas a member of the Women’s National Team. She went on to coach women’s lacrosse at Yale and start three companies. From the outside, she is a true American success story. What is less known about her is her lifelong struggle with depression.
“I wasn’t a person who ‘kind of” suffered from depression,” explains Samaras. “I was a suicidal kid from seventh grade until today. It’s just the state I’m in.”
Lacrosse became a way for her to battle her demons.
“I couldn’t find ‘happy’ or a sense of joy,” she continues. “I just wanted to be alone, rid of the competition. For me, lacrosse wasn’t about just winning. It was winning to such a huge degree that other players were no longer in the same playing field as me.”
During her sophomore year at Princeton, the perfect storm hit—Samaras’ depression spiked, and her parents lost her childhood home. She ended up failing out of school.
“It was a very public failure—one that I couldn’t hide behind,” she admits.
After a yearlong break, during which she took classes at the University of Maryland and discovered her passion for writing, she returned to Princeton.
“The experience taught me so much more about my own grit and resilience and overcoming failure,” she says. “Graduating from Princeton was, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
As founder and CEO of Brave Enterprises, Samaras devotes her life to helping teenage girls get to the base of their fears and learn strategies to become more brave, a term she defines as “taking action when we’re afraid.” In this article, Samaras shares five ways we can encourage bravery in our daughters, and, in turn, live more brave lives ourselves.
Read the full story on Forbes.