The hardest part of writing this is determining where to begin. Playing soccer at Carnegie Mellon was one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of my life. Similar to most student athletes, I slept less and stressed more. Balancing performing in the classroom as well as on the soccer field proved to be much more intense than I anticipated. However, my support group of 30 amazing women and two coaches that cared about me as a person and not just a player made it all possible.
My transition out of high school and into CMU was everything but easy. One of the challenges I faced playing a fall sport was jumping right into season my first semester at college. I was sleeping 4-5 hours a night, training six days a week and drowning in school work. My coaches suggested I talk to some upperclassmen about some tips on how to successfully balance school and soccer, and I was surprised to learn they struggled just like I was when they were freshmen. They helped show me that everyone at CMU struggles and highlighted the importance of a strong support network. As my relationships grew on the soccer team, we became more than just teammates. We supported each other on bad days, helped each other and studied together. We’ve done so much more than just play soccer together. It’s kind of ridiculous because we’re forced to be together for hours and hours of soccer commitments, but then turn around and spend our (little) free time together. As I reflect back on my experience, I realized this support system was the foundation of my college experience.
As I think about the sports side of it all, this tight connection off the field is also what made us such a good soccer team. The only thing better than being on a team that gets along and has fun together, is being on a team that gets along, has fun together and wins. The support we had for each other off the field reflected on the field. Some of my favorite college memories were accomplishments of this team. Game winning goals with seconds left, beating rivals, winning UAA Championships… I could go on. I can't wait to watch the program grow and eventually win a national championship.
I am grateful and honored to have played for the CMU women’s soccer team for four years. I learned so much about my ability to push myself past my limits. While I won’t miss the fitness tests or early morning practices, I will miss representing such an exceptional university, the thrill of such high competition and my teammates that I now call my family.