Sunday, August 14, 2011

College Bound!

This past spring, I was faced with a major question. “Which college should I go to?” Being the indecisive person I am, I struggled with this choice for a while. I made pro-con lists and looked at numerous websites explaining the ups and downs of each college I was accepted into. I eventually chose to attend University of California Berkeley. Each minute I spent researching the schools, I got more excited about Berkeley and studied less of the other schools. I went up to visit the campus and fell in love with the location and just the feel of a college campus with a lot of school pride.

With all the gains that came with going to Berkeley, there were also sacrifices I had to make. One being the fact that there is no synchro team for me to skate on. This is what made it an unbelievably hard choice to make. However, I prayed about it, thought about how I have had some amazing times with my teams, and I decided that my education came first in this situation. Luckily, Cal has a figure skating club that competes in intercollegiate competitions, so I still have the opportunity to skate!

I wish the best of luck to all teams this season and also to all high schoolers in your college choices!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Update

Hey Guys!

This summer is much different than what used to be normal for me! I currently have an internship at Sonoco Products Company. The paper mill is located in City of Industry, California which is about 2 hours from my hometown in San Diego. This worked out really well because I am still able to see family and friends on the weekends while getting a great work experience in the paper industry, which is a specified field within my degree of Chemical Engineering.

At the mill, recycled paperboard is the final product produced. The paper machine runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To create the product, Sonoco buys recycled cardboard boxes, newpaper, mixed paper, and tubes from both vendors and local customers. Then these resources are essentially ground up, run through multiple cleaners and refiners, and used to make brand new sheets of paper.

(Recycled books used for production)

(Final products consist of large paper reels even bigger than people)

I wish I could say that maintaining a full time job and training go hand in hand but I'm sure few have found that to be the case. Luckily, early morning skating sessions are available and I usually head to the rink to skate before getting to the office at 7 and then I head back for weights in the afternoon. It can be a challenging and hectic schedule but it also proves one of the countless beauties of being a Varsity student athlete. At school and home, on and off the ice, not only are we training to be the best at our sport, but also for all our future careers and endeavors.

I have learned an unbelievable amount after 10 weeks of my internship at Sonoco. It's hard to believe that the summer has flown by so fast. I have met so many incredible people and industry contacts already, from people at my office to other plants within Sonoco (I'm known as "the ice skater from Miami"). I've even given a presentation for the VP! I am very excited to see the results of my projects. It has been such a great opportunity and experience and I cannot wait to see what comes next for me! :)

Enjoy the rest of summer! And get ready for another fantastic synchro season! :)


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Choosing a School- My Journey

The college selection process is an intimidating step in the lives of children and parents. Most people choose a school based on the academics and where they fit in best. I came into the process struggling with many questions, but most importantly, where could I go that fits me academically and will allow me to skate?

(photo: Boston College ice rink - Silvio O Conte Forum)

I started the process last summer via a long east coast tour with my parents. I visited Boston College, Boston University, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. I came out of this trip slightly more stressed because I could see myself at many of the schools I visited. These tours shed light on which parts to highlight on your application, and on how to go about completing it. Later on, I visited Northwestern University and Miami University, and of course ended up loving both as well.

I began the Common Application in August, which was a smart decision because if you wait until school begins, homework begins to take over your time. I wrote many essays (mostly about skating experiences- which make great topics) and was done by December. After I sent in my last application, I had to endure the wait until March.

I did apply to schools at which I could not integrate skating. Even though I knew in my heart that I could not leave the sport at this time, my head told me that I should begin to concentrate solely on academics. It was after the U.S. Synchro Championships and the Dearborn ice show that I knew I wasn’t done skating. It had been a part of me for too long.

(photo: some Crystallettes at the Dearborn Figure Skating Club ice show)

I was granted acceptance to University of Michigan, Boston College, and Miami University. Each university would allow me to skate, but all were very different. After a long period of contemplating and pro-con lists, I finally realized that what was important was that I was comfortable and happy. I ended up choosing Boston College because it was undoubtedly my favorite campus and location. It meant leaving a lot of my friends and memories behind, but if my years of skating had taught me anything, it would be to take risks and chase after your dreams. I am forever thankful for the ongoing support from my parents and my teammates over the years.

Next fall I will be skating for the Haydenettes and attending Boston College as a biochemistry major. I could not be more excited about my choice, but I know that I would have been happy with whichever college I chose.

(photo: My mom and I at a Detroit Tigers vs. Red Sox game-- not to worry Tigers fans, my loyalty will always be in Detroit ;))
My best advice for rising seniors (or anyone anticipating the college selection process) is to breathe and remember that what’s supposed to happen, will happen. It is ok to take skating into consideration when you are choosing a school, as you have to take many different factors into account when deciding what school will make you happiest. Balancing college classes and an intense skating schedule requires extreme time management skills, another skill this sport instills in its participants.

Skating is extremely close to my heart. I am very fortunate to be able to continue my love for the sport and integrate it into my college experience.

I hope I shed some light on the process! Have a great summer, and I will update shortly with summertime activities with the Haydenettes and the DREAM program.