“I can’t believe I am already done with my first semester here at Muhlenberg. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was being moved into my dorm room …”
Time flies, especially when you are a busy college student-athlete. We asked several Muhlenberg freshman athletes, all of whom completed or are currently in the middle of their seasons, to write about their first-semester experiences and how they were able to adjust academically, athletically and socially. Here’s what they had to say:
Joining a team was an adjustment in itself. I went from being a top runner with the same girls for six years to being at the back of the pack on a completely new team.
Despite this, the team definitely made the whole college adjustment nice and smooth. The upperclassmen have been really great about showing us freshmen the wonders of Muhlenberg (like the fro-yo machine, good study spots, the cross country house, etc.). It amazes me how quickly we have become so close.
The commitment has really helped me with time management and keeping an academic focus. It was hard at first to see people getting ready to go out Friday nights while I stayed in to do homework. But I also chilled with teammates and it was all right because we were all in it together.
Even after that and after waking up early every Saturday morning, our performances were worth the sacrifices. We work really hard and have a lot of fun and are always there for each other. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
When I got to school, the only thing I knew for sure was that preseason was going to be really challenging and really hot. I got recruited by other schools, but not Muhlenberg, so I didn’t know if I was even going to make the team. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew it would be a lot different from high school. I almost didn’t play because I was so nervous I wouldn’t like it.
About two weeks in, I knew I made the right choice. I love everyone on the team and am so glad I got to meet them all. We have great team chemistry led by the best captains and I couldn’t have asked to be on a better team for my first season.
The biggest adjustment was definitely the speed of play. I learned right away that I would have to work really hard to get used to playing at such a fast pace for the entire game. I was very excited to find out I would start on defense in the first game and for the whole season. This surprised me a lot but made me work even harder throughout the season and continue to work hard now that season is over.
The change to college academics was a lot less difficult than I anticipated. I have always had to balance sports and school, so it was exactly what I was used to, and my high school did a great job preparing me for college classes. I knew what to expect in them and how to organize all the work I received so I could get it done in a reasonable amount of time.
There was a huge adjustment I needed to make in terms of my academic workload. Having a busy schedule during the season actually helped me out a lot because it forced me to get as much as I could done in the time I had.
With football, I was very grateful to have gotten a large amount of playing time as a freshman. I had expectations of just getting on the field any way possible, but as I moved up the depth chart and some opportunities opened up, I got a chance to see some significant playing time.
The game is much faster and bigger than it was in high school, but in the end, it is still just football.
It took me a week or two in the beginning of the semester to adjust to the whole “college lifestyle.” For me, the two biggest adjustments were not seeing my family every day and learning how to budget my time so I could get all of my work done. I am very close with my family back at home, so it was challenging for me to adjust to not seeing or talking with them every day.
However, my initial homesickness was eased when I realized that I have “family” here: my team. I met all of the other freshman on the team the first day I got here and we instantly started to bond. We became close friends with each other really quickly and supported each other as we all transitioned to life here in Allentown. The upperclassmen on the team also did an amazing job helping us freshmen feel at home … The team definitely made my transition to college life a million times easier, because they were kind of like a “built-in” support system and group of friends.
I haven’t played a lot this year, which is difficult (I mean, doesn’t everyone want to get into games?); however, just being part of the team is amazing. Being able to play with the girls every day at practice is an honor and even if I don’t get in all that much in the games, I still really enjoy being able to support and cheer everyone on with the other girls on the team.
I have loved my time spent here at Muhlenberg so far, and I am excited for what the second semester has in store for me personally, and for our team!
My first semester of freshman year was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had. Beginning college was a mixture of many different things; it was exciting, but especially nerve-wracking. I was scared to live away from home, make new friends and play on a brand-new team.
All my fears quickly faded. The girls on my team quickly became some of my best friends, and I adjusted to the college lifestyle quicker than I thought I would with the help of my teammates. Balancing playing on the team and my schoolwork was definitely hard, but it is all about time management and setting your priorities.
It has been an amazing experience playing on a team with these girls, and I’ve learned more about the game of basketball than I have learned my whole life. Even though I do not play as much as some of the other girls on my team, I am honored to be part of the team. The team is a family and we want all of our team to be successful more than anything else.
The bond we all share with each other is something special, and something I am looking forward to see getting stronger as I spend the next four years of my life as part of the Muhlenberg basketball program.
First semester was awesome! In the beginning it was very difficult adjusting to playing soccer while also balancing my schoolwork. The academics and athletics are more demanding then they were in high school, but once you get into a routine, it is totally manageable!
Having a team that is basically your family makes it worth every minute. There is always someone on the team willing to help you out with school, sports, or whatever it is that you are struggling with.
I got a lot more playing time than I expected to get this season. It was hard to jump right from high school soccer into college soccer. College games move at a much faster pace and are more physical. The upperclassmen on the team were great at getting me ready to compete in this new playing environment. Each game made me more and more confident. By the end of the season I didn’t feel like a freshmen stepping out onto the field.
Overall, it has been a great experience!