First-year athletes find support for their team despite lack of proper preseason – The Oberlin Review


This year, first-year athletes arriving in September found themselves in a situation where, with no classes or orientation to keep them occupied, sport was all they had to connect to campus. For these students, the already difficult transition from high school to college was accentuated by the prolonged lack of structure and the scarcity of students with whom to befriend when they first started out.

Isa Morales, a first year on the women’s soccer team, found the adjustment quite difficult.

“I didn’t know anything beyond football fields so I felt really lost,” she said. “I didn’t know how the restoration worked or where to look for help with my various problems.”

Usually when athletes come to campus they have a few weeks of training and preseason before the general campus population comes and classes begin. However, this year’s classes didn’t start until October 4, meaning athletes who were on campus between summer and fall spent most of that time without normal semester functions, such as meals. and housing, operating as usual.

Although the transition was difficult, freshman Morgan Cianfichi found that her team‘s support really got her through her first few weeks.

“Once on campus, my team made me feel very grateful and welcomed. I’m really grateful that my teammates showed me around and made sure I was ready for the start of classes, ”she explained.

Cianfichi pointed out how his teammates taught him and his freshman classmates the dynamics at Oberlin. Salem Holter, a first-year field hockey player, spoke about their teammates’ experience of understanding Oberlin before officially going through the orientation.

“It was very funny, having already learned the structure that Oberlin works in, but I enjoyed the real experience of going through it with others. [first-years]”said Holter.

For Morales, the orientation was an opportunity to strengthen his knowledge of the campus with an appropriate focus on academic life in Oberlin.

“In some ways I felt really cool because I knew where the buildings were and how the catering system worked, but at the same time I was just as lost as my classmates about the way life academic functioned at the university, ”she said. “It was great fun to learn so much about what the school has to offer.

Athletes are known to juggle their social and academic lives – balancing daily practices, games, and lifts, while staying on top of classes and taking time for themselves. For the first few years, the intensity of this balance was a shocking experience. Holter and Morales described the month before classes started in October as similar to a summer camp: a worry-free environment where they could focus on their passion for their sport. With the introduction of the course, however, they found that being a college athlete was quite different from their initial impressions.

“Adjusting classes during the season has been a bit difficult, especially since I miss classes at the start of the semester due to away games,” said Morales. “I feel like this adjustment is really difficult because suddenly I have a full workload and a lot more responsibilities that I have to balance with football.”

Cianfichi believes the first week of class improved his ability to balance his daily activities as a varsity athlete.

“Being in season while starting school was definitely a challenge, but I learned to balance my studies and football,” said Cianfichi.

Despite a difficult start to the school year, the first year athletes found support in their teams and practices. With a little perseverance and a little more coaching, the newest class of rookies will be ready to take on their new responsibilities at Oberlin.


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