I will start by introducing myself. I am Kristen Jakubowski, known as Jako to a lot of the hockey community. I’m currently a junior at RPI majoring in biomedical engineering. I was born and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before moving out east to go to Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York. I have one older brother. He started playing hockey so I would get dragged to the rink to watch his games and practices. It looked like a lot of fun and I wanted to play, and shortly after that I was signed up for my first skating lessons. And despite my mothers best efforts to get me to be a figure skater, I wanted nothing to do with that, and just wanted to play hockey, and finally she agreed to let me. I started playing boys hockey when I was around the age of 7. I didn’t start playing girls hockey until I was 11 and at that point I was still playing on a local boys team, and a girls team out of Denver. I continued to play both until I was a freshman in high school, and at that point the boys were finally bigger then me, which standing at 5’8” at the time, meant that my time playing boys hockey was over. This was solidified by the breaking of my arm in my first game of the season with the boys that year. After that, I moved out east and enrolled at Northwood School where I finished out my high school career.
When the college process started I had a fairly large list of schools that I was interested in, mostly because I had no idea what type of school I wanted to go to. It started as wanting to go to a school in a city, then going to a smaller school, and it seemed like I was changing my mind every other day. However, after going on my official visit to RPI, I knew that it was the right place for me. It was a place where I could get a high quality education and be challenged in both the classroom and on the ice. I was also able to learn a lot about the program from my assistant coach at the time, who was a former assistant coach at RPI and very knowledgable on the program and how it worked. Ever since I made the decision to become an Engineer, I know that I made the right decision.
We just finished the first half of our season, and the break couldn’t have come at a better time for us. The last week of classes with a majority of the team having their finals and final projects was laid back, consisting of practices mostly made up of small games. After the last week of classes, those who didn’t have finals were able to go home for the holidays. While others, like myself, had a few days off until finals week started. My last day of finals was the 21st and as soon as the final was over, I hopped in the car to catch a flight to Florida to spend the holidays with my family. Over the break, we were given a work out program and the weather down here has been very accommodating to work out outside. I was able to use my brother’s bike and go for a ride outside which was amazing compared to having to ride a stationary bike, staring at the same wall the entire time.
We all come back on the 30th to start preparing for the final stretch of the season. We don’t start classes until January 24th. This gives us about a month on campus with no one there except the men’s hockey team, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams. During this time, we will be doing a number of different team activities, as well as catching up on the shows and movies that we missed during the semester because we never had time to watch them. This part of the season is very nice because all we have to do is play hockey. We don’t have to worry about school or other things that we normally deal with during the semester.