Like most D3 athletes, Jordan was concerned with being able to “play volleyball, play well, and then still be able to be in class and succeed there, too.”
For a Floridian, however, there was a third adjustment needed: the weather.
“Even the air here is different! I absolutely love the cold and can’t wait for the temperature to drop, but when it gets cold in the gym my little Florida lungs really start to struggle!”
For Jordan, however, the benefits of playing sport at Washington College are obvious.
“You definitely get a better education. There’s more people to help you because it’s more like a family here and less like a huge community; instead of being one in 60,000, you’re one in 1,400.”
As well as the smaller size of the school, having teammates and coaches is also a huge asset. In addition to having a group of people with whom to conquer the dining hall, Jordan’s teammates are also able to offer academic advice or tutoring.
“One of the seniors is a course mentor for my psychology class, while another majors in political science,” she explains. “I go them a lot, and the whole team generally asks each other for help with classes; the freshmen have study hall together, as well.”
Academics is so important in Division III that Jordan has just as many goals off the court as she does on it. Volleyball-wise, she hopes for a few triple-doubles, a spot on the all-conference team and several team appearances at the Centennial Conference championships. Outside the gym, she plans on declaring as a pre-law or political science major, staying close to a 4.0 and joining a sorority. Before the start of her senior year, she is also targeting a law-firm internship in preparation for the LSAT exams.
And being able to play the sport she loves for her has only enhanced her all-round college experience.
“It feels great to always be representing Washington College. Volleyball is all I do; it’s my life. But playing D3 means I’m going to have something after my sporting days are over, and I don’t have to depend on it. I get to focus on school too.”
—George Gabriel ’14
Educate Through Sports gives an insight into the life of Division 3 athletes at Washington College, documenting the experiences of new freshmen who are balancing their sport with their studies.