I live, breathe and practically bathe in tennis — it’s all I know. If I came home from school to find that tennis had been canceled, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. The free time was almost daunting.
I started soccer when I was four, added in a couple of years of basketball at ten and then at 12 years old, I finally switched to tennis. I find it safe to say that sports were — and still are — my entire life. So, after six and half years of tennis I’m here, playing for the team at UC Davis.
My experience at Davis so far has been a rocky one. Moving from Southern California to Northern California is a huge change, contrary to what people might expect. But the one thing that has always been steady here so far is the tennis team.
1. No friends? No problem.
Don’t get me wrong, the tennis team has some ups and downs. It’s a rough time commitment which leaves me no time to get out there and make friends with other students in my year. But then again, with the tennis team, I basically came to school with a built-in, tight-knit group of friends already prepared for me. I’m with the girls every single day and I’m lucky to have that security. If I were to explain what it's like to be on the tennis team in one sentence, this is what it would be: I have eight best friends that I get to play tennis with, travel with, bond with and compete with. I think that’s the best part of being on the tennis team. I never feel left out or alone and it's comforting to know that we are always there for each other.
2. See ya later, Netflix.
Although the obligations have caused me a small load of stress, it forced time management skills out of me that I didn’t even know I had. Cutting out a large chunk of Netflix (mentally crying in a corner) and forcing myself to wake up earlier than I used to (12 PM) was most definitely a difficult task to overcome. But the extra time I have gained from those small (BIG) losses has given me the extra time for studying that I need.
3. I'm not scared, I swear.
OK, so maybe I am a little bit scared. Becoming a student at a college with over 30,000 other strangers is definitely intimidating. But the team really helped me gain confidence with myself. For one, it was nice to come to school and already be a part of something. I didn't have that weight on me that I had to get involved with other things right away. Secondly, no matter what fears I had or the questions I needed answered, I have eight mentors ready to help me out. Just knowing this gave me confidence.
4. I like food.
Being a freshman makes me realize that the freshman fifteen is real. The dining commons at my school is buffet style and very tempting. But thank goodness for tennis. The tennis team does a great job of keeping me in shape and shifting the freshman fifteen to the freshman zero.
In the game of tennis, there is fear and excitement. I fear that I won’t play well for my team or that I won’t satisfy myself. Personally, I have extremely high standards for myself that I have complete confidence that I can meet. So on the days that I don’t, it’s disappointing. But the excitement truly takes over the fear. The excitement comes from the rush of playing for a division one school, to proudly represent UC Davis with eight other wonderful girls and to compete as a team — win as a team and lose as a team.
Being a part of a team in college is something I highly recommend. The experiences that come with it are so very rewarding and it’s something that I’ll forever be thankful that I became a part of. Honestly, it’s the main thing that kept my sanity through all the change.
Lead Image Credit: Kristina Breisacher