I started playing tennis when I was 10 years old. I realized soon after starting that tennis was a big part of me and I just couldn’t let it go. When I came to Oregon State, I looked around to see if there were any tennis clubs I could join. Thankfully, I found out that we had a tennis club at Rec Night. When I visited the booth I saw someone familiar.
Her name is Karissa – she’s an honors Public Health major with an option in Pre-Dental and minors in Chemistry and Business and Entrepreneurship. I knew her as a girl that played tennis and ran cross country in my league in high school. We started talking and found out that we were both in the Honors College. We talked – not only about tennis, but also the Honors College. She suggested I go to practice to feel things out, so I did.
Once practice started, I felt overwhelmed with new faces. However, I could count on Karissa to make me feel included. Fast forward to a year later and Oregon State’s tennis club has become a new community for me. We all come from different majors but come together for tennis. I am always excited to go to practice, team bonding events, and to travel for tournaments with the club.
In a time where I felt intimidated in a big college, Karissa was always there to help. We were also both working on our theses, and it was a big help to have someone I could go to for advice about the process. A year later, she is now the Club President and I am their Public Relations officer.
I didn’t know then the impact this recreational sport would have on me, but I know this now: I wouldn’t have joined if I didn’t show up to the booth and talk to a fellow honors student that made me feel like I belonged here.