Boston, MA and Durham, NH could not be more opposite places if they tried. Lucky am I to call both home. Having spent my first two years as a Wildcat of UNH, I am now writing from the perspective of a Beacon of UMass Boston. Not only was I fortunate enough to play D1 hockey for two seasons, I’ve been given the gift of having a second chance at making something out of my college hockey experience. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that UMB is the place where I have that shot.
My roots to UMass Boston link back to when I played here once in high school during the state tournament. My public high school team advanced in a shoot out victory, rewriting the books of our program history. To this day, the Clark Athletic Center holds sentimental value extending far before I ever thought I would be a student here. When I knew I needed to make a change from UNH, there were so many unavoidable signs pointing straight to here. To my intuitions credit, the transition here has been incredibly smooth. This is thanks to a handful of familiar faces from older playing days, coaches who are warm and genuinely care for us and the program, as well as new teammates who are willing to take me in as their own without hesitation. At 21, I was not enthused about being the new kid on campus but hardly ever have I felt that way in all the month that we have been here.
It goes without saying that there have been things to adjust to. New personalities to get to know, a campus to acclimate to, and a new schedule to time manage are some of the challenges one would gather as part of a transition. At UNH, preseason was very abbreviated come August-September because D1 play starts early and often. Here, we have nearly six weeks to prepare for our first practice with coaches. Like most every other team, we have an assortment of off ice workouts and captain led practices during the week. I really have enjoyed the variety of life that this fall has brought. Working hard during the week feels refreshing like fall should. On weekends, I have been able to make trips to Durham and home to see family more than I ever could have with a Division 1 timetable. Both places radiate an abundance of unconditional love. Having other friends in Boston within a few T stops away also adds some variety to life, on top of the life and friends I have begun to establish here. Little things like volunteering at the Making Strides Walk for Breast Cancer, and working other sport events on campus are helping us come together as a team unit before the season even begins. Looking at all I have, I am so blessed and convinced this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.a
With the next month picking up with official practices and the start of games, I can surmise that we will become more team and season oriented, which I know we are all looking forward to. The direction we are headed is a good one.
Until next 9th –