Ulrike Stegemann – Atlanta, Georgia

Ulrike Stegemann
Atlanta, Georgia

August 5th 2004 – I will never forget that day.

After a tearful good bye at the airport and 12 hours on a plane, I finally arrived in Atlanta. I was sad to leave everything behind but at the same time I was also excited to start a new and different stage in my life. I would finally be a college student and I would have the opportunity to play volleyball.

Now, almost three years later, I have no regrets. The past years have been the most exciting years of my life. Of course, I had emotional ups and downs, I missed my family and I sometimes got sick of Americans. However, these feelings are temporary and the rest of the time I had the best experiences of my life.

Playing volleyball here is so much different than playing in Germany or anywhere else. You learn to love the game, play with all your heart and with a passion you didn’t even know you had. My team is the best I could have ever imagined and my teammates and coaches have become more than only teammates and coaches to me. We are a little family that shares good and bad moments with each other and I know that they always will be there for me.

All the memories have shaped my personality over the last years. All the memories will be greatly missed once I return to Europe. But at the same time these experiences have made me a stronger person who appreciates little things in life even more.

My college time will always have a special place in my heart. It is not comparable to any other experience I have made so far and I doubt it will ever be comparable to anything.