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The Freshmen Fifteen Things I’ve Learned

I got together with some old teammates from my Durham West Lightning team from the PWHL this week that went to the States to play Division 3 college hockey. It was interesting to see everyone’s different perspective on the first semester away from home, and the first taste of “college puck” as they say. The girls were comparing their “muffin tops,” the fat that shows around the waist area when jeans are too tight, or in this case gained weight. 

Some attributed this accumulation of winter layers on their midsection to the availability of Cafeteria food. Some say they workout and skate more than they ever have in their life, but also drink more than they ever have too. Some attributed it to snacking, some to stress. I myself have gained a few extra pounds too, but it isn’t the typical “eat too much, stress too much, exercise too little” freshman fifteen. This is another form of freshman fifteen we all have failed to mention. 

These are the Freshman Fifteen things I have learned over first semester as a Varsity athlete. 

Independence: I need to eat, study, and play hockey, but these things are things I want to do now, my parents aren’t going to pay my phone bill forever. 

Responsibility: My education is in my hands now, sometimes hitting the books is what needs to be done … even if it is Thirsty Thursday at the Campus pub.

Perseverance: We are all going to have days when the world is ending, but it takes a special person to push through the hard times to get where they need to be. 

Integrity: There are many different things to fall into in university, enough to make you question yourself and who you are. Dip in and try new things, but stay true to yourself and your values. 

Determination: Want it? Go get it. 

Expectation of Self: Expect success from yourself, expect that you are going to conquer the World. 

Procrastination: Don’t do this. 

Pride: Everything you do, reflects on you. Hold yourself high. 

Spirit: Bring energy to all of your endeavors!

Love: Trust people, learn from people, love people.  Take some chances.

Friendship: There are some “lifers” lurking about you. 

Metacognition: University can be hectic, leaving you not knowing who you are or what you want, take some time to yourself to reflect on what you really feel. 

Failure: If you learn about pride, integrity and perseverance… this will happen less often. 

Respect: Have admiration for your coaches, teammates and professors. They are working hard to give you the best opportunities they can.

Fun: GO PARTY, you are young, wild and free. 

These have been the most stressful and intense four months of my life but I have learned first hand some of the life lessons that, teachers, coaches, family members and mentors have been teaching me since I could walk and talk. In hockey and in life, everything is about balance. And while it may feel like a Mack truck dumped a gravel pile of problems and stresses all over my once balanced life it is now my responsibility to sort through it all and decide what I really want in my life. We are some of the most privileged people in the world as Varsity athletes; we are playing the sport we love, getting prime post-secondary educations and there are so many resources devoted to us to help us be successful. It is important to recognize this potential and to use it.  So I am going to take these Freshman Fifteen things and start chipping away at all this “gravel” around me and push towards my personal success. Let me start with those love handles spilling over my jeans!




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