Anna Jungjohann – St. Petersburg, Florida

Anna Jungjohann
St. Petersburg, Florida

My journey started at the German National Championships in 2018, where I met Sandra. After one of our games she asked me whether I can imagine to play abroad in the United States. I have always dreamed to go abroad for a certain time so that was a great opportunity!

I went through the application process and took the TOEFL test and soon coaches reached out to me. Eckerd College was immediately my favorite school because of the amazing location at Saint Petersburg, Florida and the great Volleyball Program. After a year of waiting and working hard, I finally made my way to Eckerd in Summer 2019.

My time in Florida was amazing, while also being challenging. At the beginning, it was very hard for me to leave my family behind and to start a new chapter of my life on my own. So many things were different than I expected and it took me some time to adjust to my new lifestyle. I think it is always difficult to come to a new team, but if the team does only speak English and has a different culture, it is especially challenging. I had to adjust to the style of coaching, to a new position and to new rules on the court. That was not always easy, but I met so many great people that helped me to adjust.

Playing Volleyball in America is a lot different from what I was used to. Practice was harder, lifting more intense and coaches took mental health of athletes very seriously, which was a pleasant suprise. Volleyball became my fulltime job and while all the conditioning and hard practices weren’t always fun, they all helped me to become a better player. I think that my technical skills imporved much and my coach pushed me to my limits which helped me to become better. She helped me to accomplish great victories and I am beyond grateful for all the great battles I had with my team.

In College, teams are changing very much every year because people graduate and new people start college. Having a completely new team every year is also challenging, especially because the season is so short that there is not much time to bond. But in my senior season, my coach made team bonding a priority and we all had to spend much time together. This made us all very close with each other and led to great friendships.

I also really liked my school and its liberal arts approach to education. I studied Marketing and Communication which I really enjoy. My classes were all very project oriented and I was able to work in teams a lot. I love my project oriented courses and all my professors who taught with so much passion that you couldn’t help but enjoy class! I had great classes that really stretched my thinking and made me grow. All the professors were so supportive, understanding and some even came to our games.

The whole environment was just great and I would recommend going abroad to everyone who is willing to grow and wants to become a better player. My favorite moment of my entire time at Eckerd was when we went to the Regional Tournament. Being on the court with the girls just feels right and we played so well together, showing that we are truly a unit! Throughout the entire season we worked so hard together, pushing each other to new limits, knowing that we can be great together. I will miss working hard and sweating like hell with these girls because their fire and commitment made me a better player and person! I am so thankful that this opportunity was given to me and I will cherish the memories I made forever.

girl standing in front of a wall with sunflowers
girl sitting on the beach
girl on a bicycle