Sam: What was the transition like from being a high school student-athlete to a college student-athlete?
Sydney: The transition was interesting. In high school, it felt more like an extracurricular or a hobby but in college, it became a lifestyle. There are also different levels or extremes to that lifestyle. I played D2 volleyball at Assumption College and that was a more extreme level and involved. There was more involvement in all aspects of life. It wasn’t just practice and games, it was team meetings, individually working out, team workouts, academic study halls, and team bondings. Being an athlete became your identity.
Sam: Was it tough to manage school work and work, while also having practices and tournaments?
Sydney: I personally didn’t struggle managing school work but I did have a difficult time managing actual work. I work part-time and during the day. Practices took time out of work in the evenings and we have individual practices for about an hour during the middle of the day which took time away from work too. That adjustment was difficult and was more of a sacrifice than an adjustment.
Sam: What would be some advice you would give to incoming freshman student-athletes?
Sydney: Advice I would give: prepare yourself according to you. Everyone is different but you know you best. Prepare yourself to your standards of fitness, make sure you’re eating pretty well and maintain a fit lifestyle. Form relationships with ALL of your team early on. Do not form cliques with the first few it is easy to get along with. Get to know the coach early on so you understand their personality because that reflects their coaching styles big time. Lastly, be sure to make friends outside of the team.
Sam: What is your favorite memory of playing volleyball for SUNY Cortland?
Sydney: My favorite memory was beating Oneonta and declaring the real red dragons! Not only that but making friends with the girls on the team. They were all really awesome people that I still hang out with till this day.
Sam: Do you feel being a student-athlete improved your time here at Cortland?
Sydney: I do think it improved my experience because I was able to be apart of different culture here at Cortland. Athletics is a big part of the culture here and I was able to be a part of that. Even though it wasn’t for me, I learned a lot from it. It guided me and helped me figure some things out about myself that I didn’t know before. And it helped me realize my priorities at this adulthood entering moment in life.