I was asked by Women’s Hockey Life to share my experience as a freshman and student-athlete. I will be blogging once a month about my life at school. Here it goes….
After spending the months of June and July as a sleep-away camp counselor, it’s back to reality. With working at the Rope’s Course occupying my hours during the day and 13 year-old girls keeping me busy in the bunks at night, transitioning into an early bird was not much of a choice. Even though I hardly had enough time to breathe in the busy camp environment, the thought of pre-season and the dreaded fitness tests constantly weighed heavily on my mind (and the fact that our former associate head coach and newly named head coach could probably beat out the entire team in every test). Forced to set my alarm clock to 6am each day, I snuck out of my bunk to the fitness center, to the “boy’s side” of camp to the roller rink, or to the lake for an early morning swim. I had an awesome experience working at camp, but after six weeks, I was anxious to return home and begin to prepare for my freshman year at Princeton.
Now with only a few days remaining until move-in and the beginning of school, I can’t help but feel some unease alongside my excitement. Not only do transitioning from high school to college hockey and our pre-season fitness tests constantly cross my mind, but I also find myself worrying about what it means to be a student at an ivy league school. Will I turn around in class and find myself surrounded by all high school valedictorians and perfect-score, test taking machines? Maybe. Is it possible to thus compete in the classroom? I hope. Although I am definitely nervous about beginning my freshman year of college, the welcoming environment of the hockey team has already helped to lessen my concerns and replace many of my worries with excitement.
I definitely feel lucky that both the team and our coach have been so supportive and inclusive throughout the summer. At the beginning of the summer, each freshman was assigned a Junior Mentor. My mentor has been unbelievably helpful in answering my many questions about not only the upcoming school year, but also hockey season. I’m not sure what I would have done this summer without her, and it was comforting and reassuring to know that there would be someone looking out for me the moment I stepped on campus (and even in the months before). The captain of the team also started an email chain and assigned every player a specific week to send out a letter regarding her summer. It was awesome to be a part of this chain and learn a bit more about my future teammates! Furthermore, our coach has also reached out to us on numerous occasions to check-in and answer any questions we had, helping to put most of my worries to rest. With all of the help and support the hockey team has already offered, I can’t help but be incredibly excited for the upcoming season and school year to come! So ready or not, off I go…!