After Texas, I started my college journey at Pratt Community College (PCC) in Pratt, Kansas. The transition wasn't too bad because of the fact I was playing volleyball, so I had “ friends”. However, moving in with people that I had never met was not too easy. The girls were great though, and we all grew our own little bonds, and gained so many memories. As days went on I learned a lot about myself and grew some new interests, a different mindset, and went a different path while attending Pratt. I made new friends outside of volleyball, and moved into a new room with new roommates. I would say I am very outgoing, a people person, and very easy-going, so transitions weren't hard for me. I had my challenges with some new classes, like biology, but with my mindset I always made sure my grades were my number one priority.
Returning to Pratt my sophomore year...
Was a breeze because I was a returner, everything was familiar, so having that as an advantage was a blessing. I definitely opened up to different opportunities like a new work-study job, a different major, running for Winterfest Queen, which is like Homecoming Queen, and being a bigger threat on the court. However, the biggest Milestone I had to face was finding a new school.
Making a highlight film, emailing coaches everywhere, and just trying to find a new home was not as easy as I thought it would be. I had to face a lot of rejection, and that’s honestly something I’m not used to. I was very grateful for the 7 college visits I ended up taking, and got to experience a lot of different offers, insights, and volleyball experience. Looking at different schools I had to make a list of what were necessities for where I were to continue my education, such as:
-Closer to family?
-Teacher to Student Ratio
And after a lot of consideration, York College sold me. The amazing small town qualities, close to my Omaha Family, incredibly nice faculty, the quiet atmosphere, and how small the campus is (which means more connections with students and teachers).
York College was a little more of a Rocky transition than Pratt was because of the Christian-based program. I am religious, but knew very little about the Bible let alone how to write papers and do assignments over it. Then the rules of campus were not something I was used to due to the fact that Pratt didn't have visitation or curfew hours. Meaning that my friends that are underclassmen who stay in the dorms have to be in their room by 12 during the week, so we don’t get those late night adventures. However, each day York grew on me, and each day gave me a different memory, new friend, and a lot of impactful opportunities. With moving and having to make transitions comes with a lot of sacrifices. At the end of the day it's what the overall goal is which is to play volleyball, get a great education, and graduate. York College did all that for me and so much more.
For instance, now that I am retired from volleyball I am about to face another big transition in my life, coaching. Luckily I spent my past three summers as a strength and conditioning coach preparing me for this opportunity. The many struggles I had were being taken serious as a female coach. This will continue to be a big thing because my dream job is male dominant, and I honestly think that is old news by now. Also my age. The athletes I trained were young, and at some moments they looked to me as a friend rather than a coach. I had to gain their respect by proving to them that I know what I am talking about, and take this seriously. Now I'm going to be a coach to not only my fellow teammates, but my friends will be something I am looking forward to seeing because the respect has to change in a way. Although I don’t want to lose their relationship, at the end of the day it is business. I plan to make sure they know I'm still the same Nae just in a different uniform. Luckily I have a great group of girls that will help this experience of mine into an easy transition, and help me grow as a coach. Through it all... transitions can help you grow as a person and that's exactly why I take any opportunity I can for a new adventure.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.