But actually getting adjusted takes some time—to go with the faster pace of the game was the daunting prospect of being given all her assignments for the semester in the first week.
The pressure for any college freshman can often be overwhelming. But even with the dark days of preseason conditioning, Remenapp believes that playing a varsity sport has enhanced her college experience rather than hindered it.
“It was a lot easier coming into college already knowing a bunch of people, and having somebody to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with; the team made it a much smoother transition from high school,” she says. “My biggest challenge so far has been coming back from practice really tired and still having work to do. There’s a lot of pressure with balancing field hockey and school, but the upperclassmen have been very helpful and given lots of advice with regards to managing time.”
To a lot of students, the overlapping nature of athletics and academics is one of the most attractive things about Division-III competition. Per NCAA regulations, nobody’s here on a sports scholarship, and good grades are a prerequisite for athletic participation. Teammates become study partners, and classmates become fellow athletes. Here, school and sports always go hand-in-hand.
Remenapp believes that her passion for one fuels her desire to succeed in the other.
“Being a student-athlete means putting your grades first, and our coaches are really good at supporting that. I love field hockey, and being able to do it every day gives me motivation to keep up my grades and do well in school.”
But, nothing good comes without hard work. The life of a D3 athlete can be testing. On top of adjusting to college classes, making friends and stepping up to collegiate-level field hockey, Remenapp also faced a race against time to recover from the torn ACL which stopped her from competing during her senior year of high school.
“I’ve only been back for about 3 months and started playing again in the summer, so I hadn’t played in a long while,” she explains. Yet, she has relished and risen to these challenges and advises other freshman athletes to stay calm and work hard.
“You’re not expected to start every game, and you’re probably not going to be the best player on the team like you were in high school. Stay positive, keep your head up, and good things will come your way. Don’t freak out if you’re flustered at first and not doing well, because you’ll end up getting the hang of it.”
—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 sports with their studies.