From the Ground Up
As long as I can remember, everyone on my mom’s side of the family have been avid runners. I grew up watching my mom and aunt compete in 5Ks and marathons, and as I got older, I found a love for running, too. I joined track and field when I was in seventh grade, and by the end of high school, I knew I wanted to continue running competitively in college.
I only applied to two colleges because I wanted to major in Scientific Illustration, but running remained a big factor in my decision. The first college I considered was an art school in Georgia, but Scientific Illustration was only offered as a minor. On the other hand, Arcadia had everything I was looking for in education and study abroad, but the track and field program had just been started and was barely established. When it came down to financial aid, Arcadia was the obvious choice.
Once I committed, I was excited, but I had a lot of reservations. I had spent years learning how to run competitively, and I couldn’t help thinking, “Will this turn out to be a joke?” I was turning down a school that competes at D2 level and is very successful in its conference to pursue my major, and I hoped it wouldn’t backfire. It also didn’t help when COVID-19 shut down Arcadia’s opening outdoor track and field season in 2020, meaning that when I arrived in 2021, I would be participating in the first official track season.
Now, at the end of my first college track season, I can say with absolute certainty that I made the right choice. Though our team is small, it has made us all the more closer. Every accomplishment is something to celebrate, and everyone is important, no matter if you are a jumper, a runner, or a thrower. Setting goals as a new team, rather than holding expectations, takes the pressure off of our shoulders, and flexibility to work around our busy class schedules is a welcome bonus.
Competitively, my teammates continue to amaze me with their capabilities, and I have even surprised myself, too. When I look back at my time here at Arcadia, I know I’ll be proud to have built the foundations of the program from the ground up.