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“Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts”
Home – the place I grew up wanting to leave but never believing the time would actually come. After this summer session there is no place I’d rather be than Dayton. Although I miss my family, I love the team and UD.
Move-in day crept up much faster than expected. I was up until 2 a.m. the night before packing. I had been counting down the days until move-in for months yet still waited until the night before to pack everything up. Talk about procrastination, but I believe I work better when put in a time crunch situation. I packed anything and everything I could possibly need; acting as if I was many miles away when in reality I’m merely 20 minutes down the road.
I was feeling so many mixed emotions; excited I was finally moving onto UD’s campus, anxious to bond with the team, nervous for workouts, and sad to be leaving my home in Kettering. It’s the town I grew up in, went to school, and made memories I’ll never forget. But all good things must come to an end and now a new chapter in my life begins; college.
Sunday afternoon I arrived at Gardens, the apartments the team lives in for the summer. I was greeted by Coach Rechs and roomie Sam MacKay. We went and got my key, unpacked all of my things, did a little decorating, and then it was time; time to say goodbye to my family.
First was my sister. We have never had the best relationship until just this past year. We really started to develop a bond over volleyball and boys, what a combination. It was sad, just as we became really close I had to leave. I gave her a hug, told her to call or, her favorite, text me whenever she needed to chat, and that I’d be there for her. Then along came my parents. These were the two that had raised me, got me started with sports, drove me to every practice, and encouraged me all the way. It was hard to think I wouldn’t be seeing them every day to talk about how our days went. I told them I’ll be home visiting soon, I’ll call them to let them know how classes and workouts go, and I love you guys.
And just like that, they were off. I was left alone to fend for myself, with the help of Sam, and other roommate Casey Nance. We quickly started to bond and I realized everything was going to be completely fine.
Monday was easily one of the most nerve racking days of my life. Classes started for me and it was also the first day of workouts with our strength and conditioning coach, Mike Bewley. Luckily I had teammates to help me ease my nerves...well sort of.
My first stop was religion class bright and early. Thank goodness Sam was also in the class or else I might have never found my way there. Then we went to chat with the coaches where the topic of conversation was workouts for the evening. I came and worked out with Mike over the summer so I knew basically what I was getting into but that didn’t make me feel much more confident with stories I heard from the team. I heard that you’ll be so sore you can’t even do a push-up when you’re finished. Mike will push you to your limits. My favorite that I heard was trashcans have been put at half-court for people to puke in as they run past. Luckily, none of this was true. Mike did put us through a very intense workout to see what we are made of but we all made it and are still living to see another day.
So that is what my weekdays consisted of, religion class in the morning, shooting workouts and 1-on-1 here and there, English class in the evening, open gym, and workouts with Mike. Once the weekend hit, the majority of the team would travel home to see their families and relax. Although I missed my family very much I decided not to go home for the first few weekends. It’s not like I had not seen them; they would visit, drop off little gifts, and I would even randomly run into them while getting food.
So instead I took a visit up to Casey’s home in Akron along with Olivia Applewhite and we had a blast. These two are considered my new “parents”; we had a baptism and everything. (This was involving a water bottle in our hallway of the apartment complex and Kari Daugherty as our witness). They have taken me under their wings and showed me the ropes. Anyways, Casey showed us everything Akron had to offer; every single shopping center within a 30-minute radius, Shaq’s house, the nation’s best hamburger place, Swenson’s, her high school, and of course LeBron’s house after the Miami Heat epidemic. During this time it was also Olivia’s birthday and the 4th of July so we had to celebrate. We opened presents, bought tons of silly bandz, made fruit pizza, ate cake, went shopping, watched fireworks, played with smoke bombs, went paddle boating, and ate a lot more cake. It’s been a joy getting to know and bond with my teammates.
Looking back now, the summer has flown by. Summer session is already over. Two classes are under my belt along with a whole summer of workouts with Mike. That means just a few weeks until fall semester, a few more until our first practice, and a few months until our opening game vs. Penn State (which I hope to see you all there!) I can’t wait for everything to get into full swing.
Yes, it was hard to say goodbye to my family and friends at home but this is my home now and my new family for the next four years! It’s great to be a Flyer! :)