Growing up just south of Winnipeg in Morris, Man., I was involved in sports starting in elementary school. I participated in many school sports but invested most of my time in basketball, playing competitively from Grade 5 until Grade 11.
In Grade 10, I began playing club volleyball, and continued into my graduating year. It was then that I decided volleyball was the sport I wanted to pursue further at the university level.
Transitioning from high school into Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) has been a challenge on and off the court. On the court, the level of volleyball is an adjustment. We practise three times a week along with fitness training once a week.
Having practices so often and league games every weekend takes time away from studies. This makes juggling homework and volleyball difficult. Although being a student athlete has its challenges, it’s helping me develop good time management skills.
Another benefit of being involved in team sports is the sense of community that develops. Your team starts to act as a second family. They always have your back and, if you ever have a problem, they’re willing to listen and give feedback.
Being on a sports team has made the transition from high school to university much easier, creating opportunities for new friendships.
When I first came to CMU, I was sceptical of what university life was like. Being part of a new environment in which you don’t know anyone, while trying to get to know the campus, can be extremely intimidating.
However, being part of a sports team at CMU has given me a way to get to know other students through my teammates. All of the sports teams are relatively close, too, so I’ve been able to connect with students on other teams as well.
In high school, I relied on the Philippians 4:13 passage to encourage me whenever I felt like giving up. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” reminded me at many low moments that I can do all things, especially through the power of Jesus Christ. This verse has continued to encourage me in life at CMU, both on the court and in the books.
The classes are larger, the professors are tougher and the assignments are longer. This adjustment is hard for everyone coming out of high school, and it can be even more challenging coming from a small, AA school in Morris with 400 students attending from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
It can seem intimidating and has its challenges, but I believe that with determination, hard work and a strong faith, anyone can do it. If it weren’t for my amazing teammates, coaches and peers, adapting to university life at CMU would be far more challenging.
Jessica Edel, 19, is a first-year student at Canadian Mennonite University. This article originally appeared on mycmulife.cmu.ca.
Growing up in Morris, Man., Jessica Edel played sports starting in elementary school. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Mennonite University)
Jessica Edel is a first-year student at Canadian Mennonite University. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Mennonite University)