Think back to the first day of your freshman year at college? Do you remember the rush of everything going through your mind? From getting lost on your way to your first class, to battling the freshman fifteen, to the terrors of experiencing your first ever Finals season at the end of the semester. Because of all this complex newness, the first year of college is typically the hardest.
Now think about all of that, and imagine if you are an athlete on one of the school’s teams. The adjustment period of going from high school to college is compounded even further by jumping from high school athletics to Division I sports. Four of the university’s new freshmen athletes talked about the adjustment to the new chapter of their lives.
Leeroy Maguraushe, a midfielder for the Men’s Soccer team, is from Milton Keynes, England, and has started all but one matches this season. He is tied for first on the team with five goals and second on the team with 12 points total.
Natalia Asensio of the Women’s golf team is the only freshman on the roster and has had an average of 80.80 over four tournaments. Coming from Madrid, Spain, she took home the Madrid Youth Championship Cup a month before her first day of classes.
Will Sandin of the Cross Country team, who has finished second on the team in the 8,000 meter run and third in the 6,000 meter run. And in only ten starts this season, Caylin Prillaman of the Women’s Soccer team is second on the squad in goals with four, and in points with 12.
With all the excitement and confusion of the senior year in high school, the four student athletes had even more on their plate due to their recruitment process and deciding which school to go to. They shared their thoughts on how the recruitment period of UNCG persuaded them to come to the university.
“I played on a travelling soccer showcase team which gave me exposure to a lot of different universities” Prillaman said. “After UNCG showed interest and I came for a visit, I knew this was going to be a great place for me.”
“The recruitment process for me was somewhat difficult as I had a hard time choosing which school to go to” said Sandin. “I always had two or three schools to choose from and I had a hard time choosing one over the other.”
Maguraushe and Asensio recruitment was a little different than Prillaman and Sandin’s, being that they live east of the Atlantic Ocean.
“I’m with an organization which connects players from England to America and I attended a trial which coach Justin Maullin and Scott Brittsan first saw me play and the rest is history” said Leeroy Maguraushe.
Natalia Asensio discussed her reasons for coming to the university.
“I decided UNCG because of the golf program that Coach Howland is building and I thought her golf career as a player of the LPGA tour could really help me improve my game” Asensio said. “Also the business program of the university is really good and the education part was important for my choice making.”
Off their respective fields of play, the athletes talked about their personal time and how they unwind from the stresses of school and sports. They also talked about the adjustments they had to make from high school to college.
“In terms of personal time, I use my time to improve my soccer game or my instrument playing ability. I am able to play the drums, piano, bass and acoustic guitar, I enjoy playing music” said Maguraushe.
“It was different, moving with a roommate since I’m so used to having a room by myself” Sandin said. “I am still getting used to the amount of free time I have, and I’m not used to constantly running out of food.”
Both Natalia Asensio and Caylin Prillaman describes their schedules as very balanced and organized.
“For right now it is pretty balance. We do have a lot of practice but we have almost as much time for schoolwork” said Asensio. “They make sure we do by requiring us to do six hours a week of study hall for freshmen. Personal time depends on the week.“
“Athletics honestly helps me manage my time between my schoolwork and playing soccer. Between my required study hall hours and studio hours, I usually am able to plan out my work for the week” Prilliman said.
With the season winding down for all the four of the athletes this semester, and with finals about a month away, the four students will look back on their first semester at UNCG and will use the time in the offseason to reflect not only on their growth, but also how to make their sophomore years even better.