The class of 2015 is just starting to get a hang of where buildings are on campus, how much time they need to get from one place to the next and who their fellow first-years are. However, there are a group of first-year athletes who have already been on campus for a few weeks in the full swing of activities. Rollins first-year athletes arrived at Rollins and hit the ground running as they try to balance a full schedule of practice, games, team meetings and, of course, classes.
As an extremely competitive Division II college, this past year Rollins saw the men’s and women’s soccer teams, as well as the women’s volleyball team, make the playoff s. Additionally, the men’s soccer team advanced to the national championship game. Though student athletes are accustomed to juggling schoolwork and athletics, naturally there is more pressure now than there was in high school for members of these teams.
When asked about the transition from high school to college, Evan Greenbaum ‘15 of the men’s soccer team said, “the pressure at Rollins is at a completely higher level compared to high school, and being committed is very necessary.”
Kaitlyn Manning ‘15 from the women’s soccer team added, “the transition from high school to college hasn’t been so easy … but I believe my coaches have been preparing me well. There’s definitely more pressure here at Rollins, but I wouldn’t expect it to be easy. That’s what makes college soccer competitive.”
Greenbaum and Manning each look forward to a future with Rollins soccer as both plan to play four years. Manning says soccer actually helps her with school, saying, “being a part of the team helps me stay on track and prioritize what’s important. I can’t imagine myself not being a part of a team. I want to compete at a high level, but having an education is the most important thing. I chose Rollins because it provided academics and athletics that are perfect for me.” Greenbaum added, “Rollins has great facilities, coaching staff and great players.”
Transitioning to Rollins has also been helped by supportive upperclassmen. Oftentimes, first-year athletes can get lost in the shuffle of adapting to a new school full of new people, possibly far away from their respective hometowns. Greenbaum is appreciative of his team saying, “we get together all the time, and the older guys have definitely helped me adjust to college life.”
Although it is barely September of their first year, Rollins athletes already have an appreciation for the opportunities that Rollins offers on and off the field. Manning summed it up best with, “I have already fallen in love with this school and I have only been here for a few days.” It looks like this years’ new Tars are off to a successful start.