I am currently located 986 miles directly south of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, my hometown. I could also say that I’m a 16 hour and 36 minute drive from home including traffic, or even a 2 hour and 22 minute non-stop flight back to my family. Early morning, my alarm goes off and I sometimes ask myself, how did I ever end up in Florida, so far away? I don’t have any family down here, I’m not familiar with the area (except Disney of course), and I came to Stetson only having met a few of my teammates in the spring.
Then I step outside Chaudoin, my dorm, and my new home for nine months and it is ninety degrees out. There are these crazy palm trees that look like they’re straight from a Dr. Seuss book, and both boys and girls on their longboards dodging people going about their busy days. There are lizards that I watch race around on the sidewalk, and when I finally look up a friendly but unfamiliar face greets me with a “hello, how are you today.” There’s the most beautiful green grass — the color that I only thought existed in my crayon box - and I can’t help but smile at all of these little things.
Every single morning I am humbled and reminded of how lucky I am to be able to play a sport that I love, continue my education, and walk around in summer clothes when my friends and family back home are in jeans, boots, sweatshirts and scarves right now.
There is nothing I love more than getting phone calls, text messages, emails, and care packages from my loved ones back home. It is nice to know that they want to know how I am doing. The question that I get the most is, “how homesick are you?” Honestly, I find myself telling everyone that I’m not as homesick as I thought I’d be.
I am truly happy with all aspects of my college life right now. My professors are engaging and they really do care about me. There are an incredible amount of resources offered to help me succeed academically at Stetson. My coaches are incredible role models. They have so much to teach to us, lessons on not only how to be a great lacrosse player on the field, but how to be a great person off the field. My roommate and I are practically sisters and I am best friends with the rest of my lacrosse teammates.
I came into Stetson with an identity: a lacrosse player. Despite me and my teammates' differences, we all have one greater thing in common — playing a sport that we are passionate about. That’s the beauty about sports. At the end of the day, your teammates will have your back no matter what. And knowing that I inherited a team of 23 other girls who are going to be there to support me, just as I am going to support them, has made my transition that much easier.
I am so excited for what the next four years holds for me in my new home 986 miles away from home. I can’t wait to grow as an individual both on and off the lacrosse field in DeLand, Florida.
Freshman - Midfielder