‘Tis the season- the offseason that is- or the time of year where I do not have to pick up my tennis racket every single day. For most of the summer until typically mid-October, tennis consumes a large part of life. Practices, matches and a summer job at a tennis camp are part of my daily routine. It started in high school and fortunately I carried those habits with me to college. There are many differences between high school and collegiate athletics, obviously, however there are some similarities that I will forever cherish.
I joined the York Catholic Women’s Tennis team my freshman year of high school but it wasn’t until the end of my sophomore season that I began to truly understand how much I loved the sport and how much I enjoyed being part of a team. I nabbed a spot in the top 9 (or the “varsity” team) junior year and moved up even farther senior year. In high school, everyone was finished with classes at the same time so it was expected of every member of the team to be at practice at the same time. Everyone lived right around our home tennis courts so there were always parents and friends at our tennis matches. There were many times when York Catholic players new girls on the rival teams. My team and I would spend so much time together from August to October that we became a family and we created memories I will never forget.
Then, I came to Rosemont College. I joined the tennis team with the intent of improving my skills and staying in shape (AKA avoiding the dreaded “freshman 15”). The atmosphere of collegiate athletics is entirely different than high school. The biggest difference for me was the size. I went from a team of 18 girls to a team of seven by the end of the season. There was less depth so one injury creates a huge riff in the lineup. There was, however, tennis courts that were in walking distance of my dorm. In high school, my courts were 20 minutes away in a car! The courts at Rosemont were five minutes away when I was walking. Practice was scheduled everyday from two to five, however, due to conflicting and constantly varying schedules, players were only required to give a “solid two hours” every day. One of the my favorite changes involves the uniforms. Our uniforms at Rosemont are washed for us! I did not have to wash my uniform after a Friday afternoon match against Cabrini for a Saturday morning matchup against Keystone.
My favorite part of being on a team is the camaraderie: the triumphs, the losses, the tears and the laughs. Every single minute with my team, whether the Fighting Irish or the Ravens, created a memory. Whether you are a have never picked up a basketball or a racket or you have been cradling that lacrosse stick for years now, I would highly recommend joining a college athletic team. Next week? Time management…
I have been a full time student at Rosemont for just over two weeks now and I am learning something new everyday! Whether it is in the classroom or in the dorm room down the hall, there is always new information, both helpful and surprising, floating through my ears. There was almost too much information being thrown at me during the freshman orientation weekend.
Thanks to Coach Gordy (what a wonderful man...) I was late arriving to the kick-off ceremony on Friday morning. As I sat in McShain Auditorium, I was looking around at my new classmates. I realized they all had brightly colored t-shirts and maroon tote bags- neither of which I had (that problem was easily corrected) but I also did not have my roommate who was coming from the good old state of Texas. Well, technically I knew of her but I had yet to meet her in person. Her belongings were in my room and her text messages were saying she was actually in the same state but I was not going to believe it until I saw it. After visually searching the class of 2017 without any luck, we all headed over to lunch then began our group time. My favorite part of orientation occurred that afternoon when Fair Play came and we participated in many fast paced and high energy icebreakers. They were so different from the cliché icebreakers everyone is forced to participate in on the first day of school! I met so many people that I quickly forgot their names but their faces stuck. We were constantly switching into different groups of people during Fair Play so I figured I would turn around and there would be my elusive roommate... I was wrong.
The rest my first Friday as a college student consisted of talks with our Raven Peer Leaders (or RPLs) who deserve a tremendous shout-out because they spent a lot of time with freshmen- a job that not many people would want, and some volleyball. I began to think that I imagined all those virtual conversations with my “roommate” and that I would be living alone for my first year but as I headed back to my dorm after making friends with the girls down the hall who would be getting air conditioning (I am glad we have the ability to pick our friends) there she was! In the flesh! She wasn’t in Texas anymore! I like to say I am lucky because my roommate is perfect (even if she has a tendency to think she will drown when it rains).
Saturday was filled with informative presentations and a trip to Dorney Park and on Sunday we had the Convocation Ceremony, which is a tradition that definitely sets Rosemont College apart. Overall, orientation weekend introduced me to many new friends and made me feel like I was finally a real student at Rosemont. Next week? The third floor of Kaul Hall...