Wow… four years later and I have so many good memories and experiences from my time in the US, and I have never questioned or regretted my decision on playing college volleyball.
I met Sandra at the Norwegian Youth Beachvolleyball Championship the summer before my last year of high school, and we immediately bonded. My motivation to earn a scholarship increased, and Sandra was so helpful throughout the entire process, and she still is to this day. After receiving an offer from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, there was a lot of work that had to be done as far as paperwork, but it made everything easier having Sandra there to guide me on the way.
As soon as I landed in Charlotte the summer of 2016, some of the girls on my team met me at the airport singing. It was so cute and a little embarrassing, but i immediately felt welcomed. Charlotte became my new home and I have made friends for life. Being a student athlete has its ups and downs, but my teammates and friends have remained a constant these four years.
The main difference I experienced related to the sport was that the volleyball had a much higher level than what I was used to, which was also expected. I had people to compete with everyday during practice that always kept me and my teammates on our toes and wanting to improve. In our first home tournament freshman year I remember I was shocked about the atmosphere; we had around 1,000 people attending! Playing division 1 volleyball is very hard on your body, and the overall focus on preparation and restitution was new to me because we were always taken care of to make sure we were able to perform at the best of our abilities.
My coaches at UNCC set a very high standard when it comes to grades and performing in the classroom as well as on the volleyball court. It was challenging considering our very busy schedule, but as a student athlete you have so many resources available to help you be successful: free tutoring, athletic academic advising and so on. My coaches were always very supportive and made sure we had time to study. I am graduating from UNCC with a degree in Earth and Environmental Science along with a minor in mathematics.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel outside of volleyball during these four years. I have celebrated thanksgiving in New York, spent spring break in Miami and also travelled to the beach during off season in the spring and summer. I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends from Norway, Helene Thelle, play in the same conference as us, and it was always a highlight meeting and playing against her twice every season. I feel like I grew a lot these past four years, and there has definitely been ups and downs. You’re always on the go, always have places to be and stuff to do. I’ve learnt to manage my time and be more structured as a result of the busy but fun days I have been living. I’m going to miss Charlotte so much, and it will always be a second home to me. I cherish all my experiences and life lessons, and I will always be thankful that I got the opportunity to play college volleyball.