By Kendra Kintz

When I was deciding where to go to college, I was torn between focusing solely on my education and choosing a school where I would be able to play soccer. I was committed to playing soccer for another college in Oregon, but the summer before I left for school I had a huge change of heart and decided Oregon State was the better fit. Because I decided to go to Oregon State, I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to continue to have soccer be part of my life; it had been in my life for years, how would I function without it?! Luckily, within two weeks of coming to Oregon State, I had tried out for the Women’s Club Soccer team and found a fit that was absolutely perfect for me, and still is four years later.

What I love about being part of a Club Sport team here at OSU is that it is the perfect balance of competition and fun. I’ve played competitive soccer my entire life and whether it was with my high school team or a club team, year round I had something to rely for a break from school. For me, soccer is an outlet to not only get a great work out, but to also clear my head and focus on something other than school for a change. I encourage you to find some sort of activity that is nonacademic so that you can give yourself a break every now and then to refresh and take a step back from the daily grind of school work. Very easily school can become your entire focus, and if you let it consume you too much, you’ll forget how great it feels to indulge in the hobbies or interests that can rejuvenate your soul and make you feel alive again! Soccer is that spark for me, and practicing three days a week gives me the perfect break from homework that I need.

If sports have never been your idea of a good time, I still encourage you to try something new! Anyone can attend club sport practices, many of them free of charge. For soccer, even if you aren’t on the traveling squad that plays in games we still encourage you to come practice with us just for a good work out and to have fun with some girls you might not otherwise meet. Other sport clubs include Ultimate Frisbee, Triathlon, Volleyball, Racquetball, and many more.

During the upcoming winter months the clouds and rainy weather can wear on you if you aren’t careful about adding endorphin rushes to keep up your mood! Find something that you know you can count on to lift your spirits on those days when you need an extra boost. I really do think it is important to make time for your hobbies, even if you need to plan them into your schedule so you are guaranteed to not forget about them.

If you aren’t interested in committing to a team, I definitely recommend trying a PAC class winter term! My personal favorite is kickboxing; I had never tried it before, but last winter term I took my first class and besides soccer it is officially my favorite workout. It was also nice having extra physical activity built into my schedule on those cold winter days when going for a run or playing outside wasn’t an option!

Whatever it is, I hope you find something that works for you to help keep you happy! If you are interested in playing soccer, let me know and I would love to give you our contact information. Otherwise, happy hobby hunting!

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