Lena Labitzke – Torrington, Wyoming

Lena Labitzke
Torrington, Wyoming

There is so much to say about this amazing year, so I don’t really know where to start. It all began with putting together a video and doing paperwork. But with great help from Sandra, it wasn’t even as hard as I thought it would be. After skyping with the Coaches, making a decision, getting a visa and packing, I was ready and excited to finally fly from Dresden to Denver, Colorado where my Coach picked me up and took me to my final destination: Torrington, Wyoming.

The College was pretty small, but the atmosphere there was awesome, because one kind of gets to know everyone. The dorms were new and nice, I had the best roommate and the people there made it easy for me to adapt. The first two weeks of pre-season were pretty tough, and at first it was hard for me to get used to everything. Sometimes, I was being really homesick, but at the same time I just loved it.

At first, I had a culture shock coming from Dresden to a town with about 6,800 inhabitants. But the more I got used to people wearing cowboy boots, doing rodeo, wearing camouflage and driving pickups, the more I started to like this totally different culture. I also learned to enjoy burgers and Mexican food.

Volleyball was sometimes rough, but awesome and so much fun. I was able to collect a lot of helpful experiences and the atmosphere at games was totally different than here. I learned how to be more disciplined and I definitely improved. We traveled a lot, which made it possible for me to see many interesting places.

Something else that needs to be mentioned is my host family. I lived at the dorms, but every player additionally got a host family which was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I got to watch Football with them, we did paintballing and to me it was like having a real family over there.

Unfortunately, I only got to stay there one year because I really wanted to start studying at a German college. At the end of the year, I was excited to get to see my family again, but I was so sad that it was already over. I’ll definitely visit!

I really want to recommend doing this to everyone who is able to do it. America is a great country, it will always be a part of me. It also is a good opportunity to connect the sport you love with going to college, so don’t miss it!!