Everyone has first-hand experience about how many emotions go through being part of a team. When someone says that they have just finished a 16-year career, you don’t expect them to be 21 years old. It is an unbelievable amount of time to have committed to anything. You think you can prepare yourself mentally for the end, but there's nothing like the wave of feelings once you realize it's over. After our last game it felt simultaneously like a dream and like my heart was being compressed from all sides. But I could feel nothing but blessed: a lot of different things happened in my four years of college and soccer was one of the best and most unpredictable. I've met amazing people, my very best friends, and improved and matured both as a person and a player.
I learned a lot about myself, and the mental and physical toughness it takes to be a Carnegie Mellon student-athlete. There is an overwhelming sense of pride whenever I am asked about my time at CMU. There’s a high level of academic excellence that is absolutely matched by our constantly growing athletic programs.
Reflecting back on the last four years at CMU both as an athlete and as a student, there is one thing that stands out to me most of all. Carnegie Mellon is a school full of high achievers and people who are used to succeeding and getting their way. However, when it comes to sports, sometimes there are variables that just cannot be controlled; injuries, coaches, opponents, officials, weather… In the end, the most important thing to remember is to control the controllables. Work on improving yourself, improving your teammates and improving your program. Things can change in a split second, you can go from a practice player to a starter, a starter to a practice player and from perfectly healthy to in so much pain… and you don't know what you have until it's gone, so work hard and enjoy every moment because even the smallest can be so meaningful.
I do not have a single regret deciding to extend my athletic career by four years. Sports help teach valuable lessons about collaboration, graciously accepting defeat, time management, facing adversity and being a part of something bigger than yourself. I know that long beyond graduation, I will still have the network of brilliant and wonderful fellow student-athletes, from my time at CMU or before or after, that know what it is like to achieve both academic and athletic excellence.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to the athletics department, Dr. Centor for showing so much passion and enthusiasm for the women’s soccer program, to my coaches, and to my teammates. You made my college experience the best I could ever imagine and I will be eternally grateful.