FY Abby May: My Experience as a Student-Athlete

My experience as a volleyball player throughout high school and college thus far has been challenging, but extremely rewarding.  Volleyball gives me motivation to strive to reach my highest potential.  It gives me a well-structured lifestyle, which I noticed quite early in my life that structure is necessary for me to be successful.  The incredible sense of accomplishment I feel when I’ve reached a goal is something that constantly feeds my drive to improve.  Volleyball gives me chances time and time again to be able to feel this way, although the path to get there is not usually easy.  However, that is why the feeling is so powerful.  Whether it be stress from school, physical injuries, or a periods of low confidence, the end result always seems to wipe out anything that stood in my way during the process.

Throughout high school, I learned how to balance sports and a heavy workload.  I was better prepared to be able to manage my time and be aware of what was first priority when I got to college.  My experience in high school, especially senior year, was a time that I developed some leadership skills.  At times, it was difficult to have the pressure of being “on” all the time and consistently pick my teammates up when they were down.  My first season at Geneseo was most definitely a different experience, but in a very positive way.

When I became a member of the Geneseo Women’s Varsity Volleyball team this past August, I learned substantial information about myself throughout and after season.  Some of this was good, and some were things I realized needed to be worked on.  These things I needed to work on did not just involve my physical abilities of playing volleyball, but rather what I need to do to become a better teammate, leader, and athlete.  I noticed even more about myself after season when reflecting back and also being a part of the leadership council.

Starting college volleyball right before my first semester of school was quite the transition.  I had difficulty learning what I needed to do well in different classes, what was expected of me from my professors, and even how to find my way around campus (something my teammates know I have an abnormal difficulty with).  All these obstacles are typical of any first semester freshman.  I had a hard time putting in as much effort as I should have to become closer to people in the beginning of the year.  I was caught up and overwhelmed with figuring out college and finding my place here.  I tend to handle things like this on my own, not really asking people for help, which I know I need to get better at.  However, at this point in time, I am so grateful to have developed such great relationships with my fellow teammates, even though it took me a while to be myself and open up.  I am enjoying my life here more than I would have ever imagined, and it is all because of the team I am honored to be able to say I am a part of.

As my first year of college comes to an end, I will be able look back and appreciate what I have gained in such a short period of time.  I’ve learned more about volleyball in three months than I think I ever have, and gained insight on who I am and how I can make myself better.  I am looking forward to next season and what the future holds for Geneseo volleyball.  I would like to thank everyone who made this experience one that I will never forget.  I love you all and good luck to our seniors!


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