“Why Geneseo?” This is a question I have been asked a billion times by family, friends, teachers, coworkers, and even strangers. I have been asked this before I committed, after I committed, and even after completing my first semester. I usually reply along the lines of: “The campus is pretty, the academics are great, it is affordable”… quite boring I know. Although I did create countless pro-and-con lists comparing schools, deciding to go to attend Geneseo was not a completely practical decision.
Geneseo met most of my requirements for a school. I envisioned myself on a beautiful campus, in a rigorous academic program, with a medium student population, while playing volleyball in seventy-degree weather. Deciding to attend Geneseo meant that I had to give up my warmth, and more importantly playing volleyball. When I was told I wouldn’t be a “good fit” for Geneseo volleyball I was devastated to say the least. I thought I had found the perfect school for me, ignoring the weather of course. It was back to square one sending mass emails to coaches and schools I was barely interested in.
I am not going to lie, it was not a fun time feeling like I had nowhere to go. Every day I came home from school I would research colleges, refresh my emails, call coaches and make my wish at 11:11 that this would all end well. I began to start to accept the fact that I would never find a school with my top priorities: volleyball and good academics. I vividly remember myself in my room, with my black out curtains down, groaning in front of my laptop. I hate that I even got to that point.
One day my mom came in my depressing room and attempted to lift me up. She said to me, “You can’t let other people decide your fate, you decide what you want to do and make it happen”. Of course, like any typical teenager, I ignored my mom and thought she was crazy. I thought, “I am not going to freeze in the tundra AND not play volleyball”. (This is in quotations because these are the exact words I said to my friends and family). On the other hand, my mom was fully convinced I could walk on the team. So once I was accepted into Geneseo, she pushed me to go on the overnight visit provided by the school.
My personal reason for giving into my mother’s hopefulness and visiting Geneseo was to see if I could attend the school without playing volleyball. I figured out that day that I could. I loved the people I met and walked around campus as if it was already my second home. Although I’d be upset if I couldn’t play, it was still an amazing school and I could see myself there. So on March 27th 2017, I decided to commit to The State University of New York at Geneseo. On that same day I decided that I would do almost anything to make the volleyball team. I spent my summer working out every morning, constantly reminding myself what I was working towards: playing volleyball, the game I love.
Although everything did work out the way I wanted, I wish I could tell past myself, lying in my garage, with a mix of tears and sweat on my face, listening to “Rise Up” by Andra Day (or by the little girl from America’s Got Talent… I’ll put the link below def worth a listen), that I need to stop being so emotional and dramatic and that I was working towards so much more than simply playing volleyball. Geneseo Volleyball is not just a team. It is a family.
I must be the luckiest person in the world because the girls on the team are some of the best people I have met. Everyone is so funny, talented, honest, and weird (the good kind obviously… at least that’s what we tell ourselves). They are a huge reason as to why I love Geneseo so much and could not picture myself at any other place. I am beyond happy that I chose to sacrifice sleeping-in over the summer and to invest in a good winter jacket. For those that know me, that was not easy. However, those slight discrepancies do not compare to the friends and memories that I have already made in less than a year. I cannot wait to see how the rest of my Geneseo experience unfolds; I know it will be unforgettable.
Link to song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TddQEzW9MQM