When I initially came to Carnegie Mellon University as a freshman, I was pretty intimidated. Academically, I wasn’t sure how I was accepted because while I was a solid student, I was never stellar. All of a sudden I was surrounded by kids with perfect SAT scores and on paper, I was probably relatively close to the “bottom” from an academic standing. My sense of intimidation continued when I showed up to my first golf practice. I was a decent player, but by no means great. Other kids on the team hit the ball 300 yards, had “swing” coaches their whole lives, and started playing in tournaments when they were nine. Everyone had the “look” of a good golfer. I on the other hand took the game up in my freshman year of high school after strong encouragement from my dad who loves to golf.
While by no means exceptional, either academically or athletically, through hard work and determination I have experienced success on the course and in the classroom since coming to Carnegie Mellon. These experiences have taught me that it is not necessarily the most talented person that succeeds, but rather the person who wants it the most. The person who has a sense of determination for achieving his goals.
I could not imagine my Carnegie Mellon experience without the golf team. Coming to school, I knew nobody. However, I quickly learned that I had eleven teammates. Quickly after that, I learned that I had eleven friends. Traveling days at a time with my teammates has helped form unbreakable bonds. When I move onto the next chapter of my life, I know that I will stay in touch with some of the kids from the golf team for the rest of my life, as I would consider them some of my closest friends.
The golf program has come so far since I came to the university in 2011. I think it would be hard to find better facilities for a Division III school anywhere in the nation. We have access to Longue Vue Golf Club, one of the nicest golf courses I have ever played. We have access to a simulator, which allows us to continue swinging in the winter months. And last but certainly not least, we have access to Coach Nick, someone who has amazed me with his level of care as a coach. You can tell that he wants to win just as bad as we all do and at the same time he cares about us individually. He’ll fist pump when we make a putt or shout when we stick an iron. His support and that of his predecessor, Coach Erd has done a lot for the golf program at Carnegie Mellon.
Golf is a sport that has taught me so much. I know everyone says these cliché sayings, but I really mean it. It is a sport that tests you mentally like none other. Being able to remain even keeled mentally is maybe more important than being the best ball striker. Those who can quickly bounce back are those that thrive in this game. These are obviously lessons that I will use in the real world as well. The mental toughness and competitive nature derived from golfing have helped me interview and gain job offers. It will be sad when my last putt rolls in during the spring season, but I know being on the golf team was one of the best experiences of my life and is something I will take with me for a long time after graduation. Roll Tartans!