A Letter to Someone Who Inspires Me – JR Kiersten Colvin

Dear Grandma-ma,

I am lucky to say that I come from strong independent women like you. Although everyone who knows you may refer to you as “Crazy Peggy”, I think they are just envious of your scrappiness and the way you get things done. You went from a bookkeeper to an entrepreneur, raised three kids, taught religion classes, and probably did so much more I do not even know of.

As a kid, you would always take us to the apartment on 19th and 1st  and bring us to the coolest places like the Christmas Spectacular, Chelsea Piers, and the Bubble Show. It wasn’t until I was around 10 that I realized we were subletting the apartment to college kids whenever we were not there. Unfortunately, we had to stop. But to this day, I am in awe of the city and dream about living there one day.

Even now, without grandpa and your deteriorating memory, you still manage to live the best life possible. You are still a landlord and rent out both the basement and upstairs apartment (after completely renovating the basement post Hurricane Sandy). You even got a dog after every person in the family and the dog shelter told you no. In your “Crazy Peggy” ways, you had Aunt Kathleen get you one. But we should’ve trusted you because you and Muffin are living a great life together. Of course, this is besides the fact that you force the upstairs tenants to unnecessarily buy Muffin ice cream from Mister Softee every night.

Your ability to get what you want and do it in an unconventional fashion is something I admire in all aspects of my life. In volleyball, I understand that a point is a point and a win is a win. It does not matter how I get there, as long as I keep fighting smarter. In school or work, I look towards simpler solutions, delegate tasks, and sometimes deviate from the instructions. You inspire me to fight for myself, bend the rules, and go after what I want.

You are an amazing lady that has raised some amazing people. I am sure grandpa is smiling in heaven watching how you’ve handled yourself and our family these past 15 years. Thank you for making me laugh every single time I talk to you and being a role model throughout my life. I hope I can bring at least some “Crazy Peggy” energy and do something that will make you proud.

Love Your Granddaughter,

Kiersten

Summer 2019- Kiersten Colvin

Hello GSUVB fam!! This is junior year Kiersten reporting from the 516. My time away from the fantasyland of Geneseo has been going well. It seems as though I am a full fledged adult-mother-of-two because most of my summer days have been spent 9-5 Monday through Friday at Altice USA. If you do not know what Altice is, you will soon because there are some absolutely brilliant people working here. Altice offers high-speed broadband (cable), digital advertising solutions, local news, and NOW (as of last week) a mobile service. Subtle flex I was sitting second row for the mobile announcement. 

I am an intern for the IT Platforms, Governance, and Metrics team. This team is in charge of the computer platforms that moderate the execution/planning of projects throughout the company. Personally, I work on Data Quality and Community of Practice. Data Quality involves making sure all information is correct in a platform my team manages. Community of Practice involves making surveys for Altice employees regarding a platform and then deciphering feedback. On top of my work, I am learning Python (a programming language) from my coworker whom I believe is one of the smartest people in the world. He insinuates Python is the future of life, as we know it. I trust him on that. 

Another cool thing about my internship is that I’m not the only one! Although I do not see the other interns on an everyday basis, we still participate in events every so often. This includes speaker sessions with different members of Altice leadership, our intern video project, and our upcoming volunteer day. 

Besides my job, I have read a lot of books, completed a course in Managerial Accounting, and got a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. This definitely contributes to why I feel like I’m 35. 

I promise you I did do some things that aren’t so serious (with pics to prove): 

As exciting as it has been to act like an adult, I cannot wait to go back to being my 20 year old Geneseo self. All I want to do is play volleyball and be in walking distance of all my friends. This summer has gotten me AMPED for the school year and volleyball season and I hope you all feel the same way. 

I will end this blog with a phrase I’ve been thinking a lot about this summer: 

“Work hard, laugh often, and always keep your word”

If you know who said it you’re a homie.

See ya in the fall!! 

10 Life Lessons

Playing a college sport is a privilege that an athlete should never take for granted. Sports provide a competitive outlet and life-long friendships, but most importantly lessons that encourage discipline and resilience.

Upon reading Adm. McRaven’s “My 10 Life Lessons From SEAL Training”, I was surprised that I was able to apply them to my life as a student athlete. McRaven is a retired United States Navy admiral who served from 1977-2014. He is a respected individual with a published book and a multitude of awards and badges from the military. In 2014, he recited the 10 lessons for a commencement speech at University of Texas at Austin.

I am not saying his 10 lessons are perfectly comparable. Navy SEAL Training is definitely much more grueling than being a student-athlete. However, I think these lessons hold true to anyone, especially to student athletes and my experience as one.

1. If you want to change the world, start making your bed

My mom has annoyed me with this one since I was probably tall enough to reach the top of a bed. Nonetheless as a college kid, you do not have your mom telling you to do that. There is something important about starting off your day right, or as my Chemistry professor “planting happy seeds”. This easy, controllable task can set a better tone for your day, and your life.

2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle

You cannot be successful without your team by your side. As someone that loves to be on my own and independent, being on a team has helped me learn the value other people. If I am ever feeling down, I know I can look to my teammates for the support that I did not know I needed. When the team is working together and helping each other out, we win. It is as simple as that.

3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers

The best matches are when Geneseo Volleyball plays with heart. Chances are the “size of our flippers” or our skill level, are relatively the same every time we play in a season. What makes us play harder and stronger is when we have a passion and drive like no other.

4. If you want to change the world, get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward

Even when we lost SUNYACs last year (2018), we keep moving forward. It does not matter how much we prepared for and how much work we put in, it is the way life goes. We are on to the next title, no need for complaining or talk of last year.

5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses (form of punishment in SEAL training if you fail to meet physical standards)

The pain of punishments build our inner strength. Serve or Sprint is a game that we hate because of this. Let’s say the rules for that day are everyone has to make their serve in a certain area AND in a row. It is likely that we will fail and face the punishment. Although that is discouraging, it tests our composure, conditioning, and inner resilience.

6. If you want to change the world, sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first

If you want to win you have to take risks in volleyball and in life. As a hitter, game point can be a stressful yet empowering situation. I will never forget the in-season game point I had against New Paltz when they passed an over pass. I had the decision to either hit it or step off the net to pass. The decision to be aggressive solidified the game win, and contributed to our undefeated SUNYAC season.

7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks

There are people constantly trying to bring you down, but “if you hope to complete the swim you have to deal with them”. There is no hiding from your opponents in volleyball. If you want to step on the court you have to face the other team. If you want to have an impact, rise to their level or take a seat on the bench.

8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in your darkest moment

There are times when you feel down in volleyball or in your outside life. I think of that week that happens every season where you have like 3 tests and 2 and a half hour practices every day. Your body is sore, your brain is racing with ideas, and you have a big tournament weekend. That is the time to do your best. Show the world that you can stay composed in this time and effortlessly allow your preparation and skills shine through.

9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your head in mud

Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed with almost any emotion, you can usually find me singing or humming. You cannot take life or the game of volleyball too seriously. A mistake, loss, or rut is not the end of the world and laughing (or singing) it off will only ease the blow. In addition to that, the calmness you demonstrate is contagious to the rest of the team.

10. If you want to change the world, don’t ever, ever ring the bell

In SEAL training, there is a bell that you can ring if you would like to quit. How easy my life would probably be if I could just quit school, volleyball and all the other extracurriculars I do? Easy, but not satisfying. I have learned that I live for the challenges and obstacles that provide these lessons for me. I strive to constantly better myself, learn new things, and hopefully accomplish something like a SUNYAC championship.

Can’t do any of it if you ring the bell.

Summer Blog :)

Hello everyone!! My name is Kiersten and I am a rising sophomore at the finest college in all of America. Although I am excited to go back to the best place with the best people, I am enjoying my time off very, very much.

My summer started off, as it always has for the past four years… working at Hewlett Point Park aka “The Hoint”. Since I was one of the oldies of the crew, I got to work part time before the pool and bay opened. During this time we would mow the lawn, pick weeds, untangle rope, sweep the pool, hang up large signs, and do any other maintenance task you could think of. To be honest, we spent most of our eight hours playing Rako or just catching up on our school years.

Since I was only working part time, I got to do some fun things with my friends. Early June, a few people and I went to a music festival on Randall’s Island. I got to see some of my favorite artists AND some fellow Geneseo vball gals ;). My favorite performer was definitely Khalid. It was a relaxing vibe and he is such a great singer.

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Another adventure my friends went on was to the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn. Sadly, I did not take that many pictures because I kinda just wanted to “be in the moment”. But let me tell you, it was gorgeous. I would say my favorite section is the desert plants. We don’t get to see those plants around NY so it was cool. It was SO COOL I decided to touch the cacti. Not the smartest decision because I kept finding prickles in my hand for like an hour (totally worth it).

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The last hoorah before I started working full time was the visit from my upstate gals. Everyone and their mother have already spoken about this in their own blog but I’m going to repeat it because it was the best weekend of the summer. It was so great to see (mostly) everyone again!! It was also nice to see some non Geneseo vballers. Shoutout to Liv and Kelly.

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The day the upstaters left, was the day I began working full time as a lifeguard and I have been full time every since. Working full time is not as terrible as it sounds. I FINALLY got my tan back and have a more structured schedule. We have also had a pretty exciting summer this year: a large dead fish in the bay, a seizure, a missing mom, and my first ever save! The Town of Hempstead has blessed us with an AMAZING crew to handle all the craziness.

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In addition to my lifeguarding job, I started working at a beach volleyball club called Power Advantage. I coach every Wednesday for three hours, grades 6-8. It is so nice to be in a volleyball atmosphere when I’ve been away for so long. It is also fun working with the kids in the club. They are friendly, energetic, and ready to play. I am so grateful I get to work while doing something I love!

After the workday whether it’s lifeguarding or coaching, I do a bunch of different things. Most of the time I will hang out with my boyfriend (and coworker) Jared. We have recently finished New Girl on Netflix and have now started Arrested Development. When we aren’t watching Netflix, you can catch us at our high school fields doing speed and conditioning drills, playing Super Mario Bros, or playing 1 on 1 basketball.

If I am hanging out with my friends from home after work, we usually watch movies. We watched a ridiculous Lifetime movie recently (if you have seen one you know why it is ridiculous). We also watched a scary movie on Netlfix the other day called Let Me In. It wasn’t really that good. My friends just love scary movies…personally I’m not that big of a fan.

With my work friends, we had some crew dinners and a crew pool party. All events were so fun and I cannot wait to have more in the future. I love the new people that have come in this year which include our new officers and our three new rookies (soon to be four with my sister Lindsay).  The newbies are great, but I love my old Hoint guards just as much. We have all grown up a lot and it is making me feel SO OLD that I am a fourth year guard and that all my friends are becoming ADULTS. But instead of thinking of that we will all enjoy our numbered days left at the Hoint together.

DISCLAIMER: None of these photos were taken on town time. Down time is town time 😉

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Now that is pretty much all that has happened in my summer thus far. My future summer plans are to get recertified for lifeguarding (which is today if you are reading this on July 11th… pray I get my time), play in a beach volleyball tournament with Gabby (fellow GSUVB member), to have fun with friends and family, and to keep working hard.

To all returning and incoming Geneseo Volleyball members,

I hope you are having a lovely summer and are grinding out your Volts. There is only a mere six and a-half weeks until preseason. And if that isn’t hype enough for you, then I don’t know what is. BUT UNTIL THEN, enjoy your summer, get a nice tan, and stay hungry.

Godspeed,

Kiersten

 

 

 

Why Geneseo? A blog by FY Kiersten Colvin

“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.

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Link to song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TddQEzW9MQM