Field hockey is one of the most popular sports in Scotland. We don’t have field hockey at the collegiate level so everyone plays club after secondary school. I grew up playin’ field hockey and I’ve been in love with the sport since I was little. When the time came for me to choose university, I had to think of what would be best to further my field hockey career. If I stayed in Scotland, I’d have to play in a club unless I tried out for the national team. In America, though, I could continue to play at university.
I decided I wanted to go abroad, so I gave my tapes to an American agency to help with recruitment. It was quite simple–they did all the work for me, all I had to do was play my sport. Once the agency sent my tapes out, I got a lot of replies back from a lot of different colleges. Choosing was hard, but I knew I wanted a Big 10 school and I wanted to be close to my brother who played soccer at Indiana.
I had it narrowed down to a few schools–Michigan State being one. When I visited here, everything kind of fell into place and it just felt right. Not to mention, my coach is Scottish, which gives me a taste of home when I’m here. Coming to America was hard in the sense that I do miss my family, especially when I talk to them on the phone, but playing a sport has definitely made it easier. I don’ know how I could’ve made friends without my team because obviously I came in knowin’ no one. I love my team and we all get on well so it’s better than I coulda hoped for.
Balancing school and sports is something I’ve done my whole life so it’s not any harder here than it was back home. I really like my major, too, so I don’t find it to be a burden doing my homework. I think I would honestly be bored if I didn’t fill my time with athletics. I know that comin’ here and continuin’ to play field hockey at this level was the best decision for me. I do love my country and I miss it sometimes but I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Although I know I won’t be stayin’ in Michigan after college, I might just stay in America.
This story originally appeared in Facing College: Diverse Student Voices, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.