Thursday, May 28, 2015

Life as a GUSTIE by Jana Elliott '17

One of the many appealing aspects of being a DIII athlete is the emphasis on being a student-athlete.  Here at Gustavus, the Women’s Soccer Team stresses school comes first, while still showing great dedication to the sport and the team.  Being a Gustie soccer player means being passionate about the game, driven to succeed on and off the field, and pushing yourself and others to the next level –all while making the best memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Being part of this team has shaped our lives in many ways.  We have become young women who bring hard work and laughter together to be successful.  From organizing extra drills/practices outside of scheduled practice time to dancing to a little R. Kelley in the locker room on game day, we have created team chemistry and a drive for greatness unlike any other team.  We are growing into a strong force to be reckoned with.  As one of our freshmen strongly points out, “we are working hard in the offseason, we are playing together this summer, we are developing positivity and community, and we are cutting out excuses.  We believe in where we are going and we are making every bit count.”

Along this road, we have created fun activities and challenges for our teammates to keep the competitive edge and motivation stirring.  A personal favorite has been the weight room photo contest challenge –teammates submit pictures of other teammates in the weight room mid action –where many funny faces are made! For example…

Besides the soccer related activities, our team stays well connected throughout the rest of the school year too.  We tie together our academic events and friendships to get the full Gustie Experience.  See below for a taste of our life as a Gustie: 

We play dress up at practice one day of the year: 

Stay up all night walking for Relay For Life, participating in zumba, minute-to-win-it games, playing Cards Against Humanity, coloring, and the fun goes on... 

Volunteer over spring break with our college’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, traveling to different states to help those in poverty better their living conditions.

And just team bonding and hanging out with each other off the field in general, whether it be taking road trips, going out to eat, or just hanging out in the dorms we have become teammates and friends for life! 

From meeting each other for the first time to months later: 
To supporting our super successful Gustavus Hockey programs: 

and even a Spring Break trip to Chicago!

We head to Spain with Coach for a J-Term class:

And get decked out to cheer on the Wild: 

Sometimes we just take a day trip to an apple orchard... 

All in all, there is nothing ordinary about being a GUSTIE.  So come be extraordinary with us. 

- Jana Elliott '17