Isaiah Saint Hilaire
Speaking to the young women of the club soccer team I was able to get the feeling that many of them joined the club to reduce stress. Stress is an aspect that could very easily deter a college student from achieving his/her goals in college. The young women I spoke to mentioned various aspects as to why they had the desire to join. It went from “because my friends told me to do it” to “I just wanted to get away from the academic environment.” Either way, it was unequivocally seen that all the ladies of the UNCG women’s club soccer enjoyed each other’s company.
I spoke to Megan Smith, a junior from the club and she informed me that she joined simply because of her friend who was on the team for the first two years of their tenure here at UNCG. Megan said that she was hesitant to come out and play, but that her friend finally convinced and she now enjoys it. She went on to tell me that she actually lives with some of the girls in the club due to the friendships she has created now being on the team. She mentioned that this club has really gotten her out of her comfort zone and has expanded her horizons in regards to establishing new friendships at UNCG. She also mentioned that they were really keen on encouraging each other and remaining optimistic. Megan says the ladies who have had experience with playing soccer in the past, motivate the new ladies who have never played soccer before into becoming an impactful and positive player.
A senior named Colby Tantiles was one of the ladies who had experience with soccer as she ensured mentioning that she did not have the desire to end her soccer days when arriving to college. She mentioned that when coming to the club she felt comfortable and made many new friends. She also explained that there is a sense of competition in the atmosphere when arriving to the practice field. She mentioned that they lift each other up, however, they do hold each other accountable when mistakes are being made. She then informed me of the tension reducer that this club alleviates for her personally as she has the pressure of graduating soon and ensuring she is able to graduate.
Karen Galloway, a transfer student who is a junior mentioned that because she transferred as a junior that she didn’t get that same chance that freshman receive because she was thrown into a dorm, as she stated. She also agreed that playing is a huge stress reliever due to having fun and getting acquainted with so many other students that have so much in common with her. She mentioned that being in a club helps her focus and compartmentalize her priorities because of all the work given to her academically. Finally, she mentioned that she has formed a lifelong bond with the other ladies on the team. She says “You have to form a bond with the players on your team in order to be successful.” It was really interesting to hear that because Karen is a new student essentially, this being her first year at UNCG. She was really passionate in speaking about her friends on the club as she said it was really important to her coming in as a new student.
The ladies I conversed with really enjoyed speaking about what the club has done for them. It was very interesting to hear the different impactful stories they had to tell about their time with the other ladies. Speaking to all of them, it seemed that the most important aspect to them was building new friendships. As mentioned by Karen, a bond is imperative when playing on a team with other players who have similar goals to what you have. It was really exhilarating hearing all those testimonies as the clubs at UNCG really do bring students closer together.