Hi, I’m Agnes Garder from Norway.
VolleyUSA helped me get to the US to play volleyball in 2020. I was lucky enough to get a good scholarship offer from Morningside University in Iowa. When I first got here I was mostly excited and not very nervous. I was eager to meet the girls on the team as they were gonna be my family for the next 4 years. I played on the team for two seasons, my first season being while Covid was at its peak. Covid was challenging with players, including myself, being in and out of quarantine. My second year was a not as affected by Covid which was great as we got to do more of what we missed during Covid. Volleyball in the US it’s pretty similar to what I was used too, however, the game moves a little bit faster and it was definitely a transitioning process needed in order to understand the game fully. My coaches were great at helping me do this even though I was in quarantine many many times, making it hard to consistently work for it.
Academically, I am taking two bachelor degrees here in the US. My majors are Political Science and Business, I also have two minors, Legal Studies and Criminal Justice. I enjoy studying in the US as I feel a sense of community here at the school that I do not think I would have in Norway. There are plenty of opportunities here. For example, I am interning here during the summer. An opportunity I am grateful for.
My favorite memories from my first two years here have been the Halloween practices we have had where everyone dressed up in hilarious costumes. I dressed up as a Christmas tree one year and an old man the second year. Another favorite memory of mine is when I got to visit a pumpkin patch here in Iowa. I had never experienced anything like it and wouldn’t have unless I started here. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the academic opportunities I have gotten here, such as making and distributing a state wide poll, and later interpreted and presented the results at an official press conference sent on television.
After my second season I transitioned into a student assistant role where I get to help coach and motivate the girls.
I made this transition due to my mental health and found it to be the best decision for me. It was a hard decision considering I have played volleyball my entire life and giving it up made me scared. However, the transition has been good and I realized that it was the best for my mental health. I am grateful for the coaches at Morningside University for giving me this opportunity and supporting me! And thank you to VolleyUSA for helping me get to the US where I get to have my hobby be an integral part of my life.
Remember to prioritize yourself and I hope this shows that there are ways to keep doing what you love while adapting to changes in your life.