Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Samantha Akl on Transferring to Stetson

When Coach Moore first gave me a tour of Stetson in late May, I knew that Stetson was a special place. The excitement of her starting a new lacrosse program, and her enthusiasm, was something I really wanted to be a part of. After being too far from home for a year, I also needed somewhere closer to home and somewhere I could make my home. The atmosphere on campus was so warm and welcoming that I felt a certain level of comfort right away.

In the first year of college you have new experiences; you must adjust to the curriculum and find your place making friends with new people. It’s a huge change trying to make college your home for the next four years. So with not finding the right fit the first time around, I decided to take the risk and transfer to Stetson. With that I had to face freshman year: round two.

Fortunately, I was able to do this with ease with a little help from my team. I didn’t have to worry about not having any friends because I instantly had twenty-three new ones. And we’ve all quickly become a family. Getting to know each other seemed effortless because we spend so much time together. We live in the dorms together, share classes, have study hall groups, and of course, we have lacrosse as our biggest common interest!

What’s really exciting is that our bonds are beginning to show on the field. We just completed our first fall ball season EVER and succeeded in our most important goal; growth as a team. Now that fall ball is over we have about one month of pushing each other in conditioning and in the weight room before winter break. And we have jumped in full force. We have some great goals for the spring and I am confident that our team has the motivation, discipline, and spirit to achieve them. We also have amazing support from our coaching staff, university, and parents to help along the way.

After leaving my old college, I thought a lot about just attending a large university and erase my memories, invested time, and love for lacrosse. Taking that route meant that I would probably never play lacrosse again. Looking back, that’s a really sad thought. It’s also a crazy thought because now I couldn’t imagine not stepping out on the field every single day.

I can’t believe how fast this semester has gone by and that we only have about two months before our season starts. Our schedule is jam packed with home games and even a trip to California! I think I can speak for everyone when I say that excited doesn’t even come close to explaining how we feel!

I’ll finish with some real insider information from our team. Every Thursday we have a team meeting before practice. Coach has nicknamed it “Thankful Thursday.” One week we wrote a letter to someone who has helped us get here. One week we all wrote cards to a little boy suffering from cancer to let him know that he has his own fan group here at Stetson. In another meeting we just sat around and shared things about ourselves, from pictures to stories, about why we LOVE what we do.

I have a lot to be thankful for every single Thursday. This program, this opportunity, my many personal support groups, and my TEAM make every minute of training, practicing, and studying worth it. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and confident in this program and this team.


Samantha Akl
Sophomore - Attack
Port St. Lucie, Fla.

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