It is simply incredible that my junior year has come to an end. The year has been filled with both incredible and joyful moments, as well as some unexpected twists and circumstances. After switching to my new school, North Greenville University, a lot of things have been going on that make me a very atypical student athlete.
First of all, after getting a lot better from my second hip surgery, a full season turned out to be a lot to ask from my body. I have played almost every single match, but I did experience the effects that my surgeries have had on my tennis and on my body. After thinking about it for a long time, I have made the decision to switch schools…. Again. I know that it is not ideal to attend 3 different universities in a college career, but my physical state combined with a feeling of not belonging at NGU led me to believe that yet another transfer is the best option for me.
Having said that, even though my year at NGU was not perfect, I would not let anyone take it from me. The memories I have made over the year and the friendships and connections I was able to build with my teammates is incredible and makes it all worth it. Not every school is perfect for everyone and I had the “privilege” of experiencing that statement first hand. To me it just seems pretty amazing that I look back on a year that I did not experience as great at the time, and still feel joy thinking about the times I had. I was able to go on a great SPRING BREAK vacation to Puerto Rico with some old and some new friends. This one week by itself would already make the semester worth it. I mean, look at this beach in Puerto Rico…..!
Beautiful beach in Puerto Rico
So many great memories were created and we went through a lot as a team. We had a very unfortunate season, losing a lot of matches very closely when we could have won them. But, we made up for it by thinking of random stuff to do like dyeing our hair blonde (stupid) and going to cheesecake factory to eat away our losses at least once or twice a week (bad for my bank account). Overall we made the best of it with what we had for ourselves.
The Cheesecake factory squad
Having decided that I wanted to transfer to another university for my last year (hopefully), it became a matter of finding a school for the third time which is kind of ridiculous but also kind of fun. About 2 years ago, after leaving Saint Francis University, I was supposed to transfer to Concordia Texas University, a D3 school in Austin, Texas. However, I did not make the transfer at the time to stay home and recover from my injuries. After that I went to look for D2 schools instead of going to Austin and ended up at NGU. In the middle of my spring semester, I got in touch with the old assistant coach at Concordia, who happens to be a very good friend of a friend of mine and of Pedro from Slamstox! He told me he could make the eventual transfer to Concordia happen for me and in the end we worked it out! I have been officially accepted and will start my senior year by taking a few summer courses to catch up. The double transfer is difficult since it often takes some of your earned credits away and that happened to me as well. Therefore I need to make up for some lost time and I will most likely be able to finish my college career and graduate in May 2020.
My whole life used to be about tennis and, even though I still love the sport, some things have simply changed. I came into college to try to pull off a miracle and to get the best out of myself on the court. Now my focus is simply on graduating with a nice degree while enjoying my time on and off the court. What drew me back to Austin is the city itself. Austin is known as one of the most enjoyable cities in the United States, and after visiting once, about a year and a half ago, I can definitely confirm this. On top of living in a nice city, my future life there is looking pretty great overall. I will be living with a future teammate of mine and his brother, in a beautiful apartment complex right across the street from the school. Believe it or not, but for a pretty low price, I get everything I could have wished for (even a beautiful pool!)
As I am very excited to go at the end of the summer, right now it is simply a matter of preparing and getting ready for the change. A transfer comes with a lot of paperwork to be able to coordinate everything between past universities and to get another Visa, so it is not super easy to transfer but hopefully very worth it! Also, I decided to take make tennis a little less of a priority this summer to be able to recover from the season, and to get stronger physically to take some heat off my hips. I want to enjoy my last year of college, but I will never lose the desire to win, not even if I wanted to. I am very thankful that Concordia has given me the possibility to finish my degree while hopefully enjoying a great last year of college! More to come!!
Team pic and huddle at the conference championships