The journey to becoming an LMU lion is different for everyone, and for me this journey began a little sooner than expected. I verbally committed to play soccer at LMU the spring of my junior year of high school. Knowing where I was going for college so early allowed me to focus more on my studies, as well as soccer. During my senior year, as I watched my classmates stress over completing multiple college applications, it really began to sink in how fortunate I was to have this opportunity. Early on that year the LMU Men’s Soccer team had won the West Coast Conference and proceeded to the NCAA tournament. Being the WCC Champions, the LMU program had big shoes to fill and the coaches needed to bring in freshman prospects that they believed could bring the title home again. Later that year I learned who these prospects and future lions were during my official visit to LMU.
An official visit is an all paid for recruitment trip for incoming or prospective student athletes. During this visit, the coaching staff pays for travel, food, board and any other expenses you may need during the visit. Living in Pasadena, paying for travel was not really necessary, but at least I was able to look forward to some free meals and meeting my new teammates. The day of the visit, we all met at LMU early and were taken out to breakfast at the Kettle in Manhattan Beach. This was my first chance to meet some of the guys in my class for next year and some of the current team members who volunteered to drive us and tag along. Once we got back to campus, we were paired with current players and shadowed them for the day. I was paired with Mark Dotseth, who took me to a few of his classes, showed me where he lived, and helped me understand what to expect when I began next Fall. After seeing what a typical day in the life of a lion student athlete was, I knew it was going to be a challenge to balance it all but these guys showed me it was possible.
Now in my third year as a lion, managing class, practice, work, and my social life doesn’t seem as impossible as it did on that official visit not so long ago. My typical Monday goes like this:
I wake up at 6 a.m. in order to get to school for soccer practice from 7 a.m. to about 9 a.m. After practice, I need to be ready for class across campus in University Hall before 9:40 a.m. At the conclusion of this hour and a half class, I leave University Hall and head back across campus to Von Der Ahe, where I work at my on-campus job in the Office of Enrollment Management. After I get off work at 2 p.m., I have twenty minutes to get to St. Robert’s Hall for another hour and a half Public Relations class. With weight lifting from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., I have a ten-minute window to get from class to the locker room to change. After the intense hour of weightlifting, I am finally able to go home around 5:30 p.m. after leaving around 6 a.m. In order to wake up so early every morning I try and get to sleep by 10:00 p.m. leaving me four and a half hours of free time to do homework, eat, socialize, etc.
Although everyone’s journey to becoming a lion is different, mine was made possible by the friends, and now family, I have made during my time here at LMU. Regardless of affiliation with athletics, Greek life, service organizations or any other possibilities offered to express yourself, the community at LMU welcomes you with open arms and encourages individuals to take what they learn and spread their wisdom to the world. Every day as my team meets for practice or as I am sitting in class I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be able to have made these friends, have these experiences, and be able to call myself a lion.