A Thank You to the U of J
My story of becoming a Jamestown Jimmie is a bit different than most. Both of my parents grew up in Jamestown, graduated from Jamestown High School and then University of Jamestown. When it came time to begin my college search, Jamestown wasn’t really on my radar. I didn’t want to be the kid who did exactly what their parents did. I thought I was going to go somewhere far from home and totally new. My first visit to Jamestown was the summer right after junior year. My best friend, Brook, and I came down and visited with the softball program but left not really knowing if that was the path we wanted to pursue. Due to Coach Gall’s persistence we both came back and visited multiple times throughout our senior year. Brook committed a few months into senior year but I was still unsure of whether Jamestown was where I wanted to call home the next four years. As senior year continued on, and we were approaching the end of March, I still had not committed to any school. Coach Gall kept pushing back the deadline for me to sign and stayed interested in me. Between Coach Gall’s genuine interest in me as a person, and Jodi Gruegel, my admissions counselor, I began to realize I was more than just another student at Jamestown. Jodi took an interest in what I was involved in and what I wanted to pursue while in college, which really made me feel important. After I got over my stubborn mindset that Jamestown wasn’t for me, I realized, this place was actually perfect. So after a much drawn out process, I chose Jamestown as my home.
Since that day, I have not looked back once. To this day, Jodi stays updated on what I’m up to, and I look up to her in many ways. As for Coach Gall, you will never find another coach who genuinely cares more about his players. Coach cares more about us as people than any aspect of the game softball.
My journey these last four years has been one of triumphs, and a few tears along the way too. Looking back, every moment has been special; all the rough days and late nights studying, the struggle to find motivation at the end of the semester, the nights staying up talking with new friends you make freshman year, and everything else in between. It’s so cliché to say that these are the best years of our lives, because for some, college may leave them questioning their career and what lies ahead. Others might have struggled to stay afloat due to leaving home, being independent, and growing up all at the same time. But for some, these four (or maybe six) years have been some of the best – making lifelong friends, becoming involved with athletics, extracurricular activities, music, and etc. The University of Jamestown has provided opportunities to so many incredible resources, which will stay with many of us well beyond our graduation.
I want to thank everyone who has made this experience so special. To my teammates, you will never understand the impact you have had on me, your words of encouragement, advice, and most importantly, your friendship has been, and will always be, irreplaceable. I have been so blessed by all of you and we have shared so much together, highs and lows on the field, early morning runs, the occasional Saturday off, crazy bus trips back in the middle of the night guided by our fearless leader, and the rare moments of actually enjoying being in our twenties in college with a night free, they have all left me with such powerful memories and I only hope that we will continue to develop these friendships for many years to come. As for my professors, administrators, and coaches at UJ, you are not kidding when you say there is truly something special about this campus.
I feel like I have been given a million ways to succeed in life thanks to all of you. I cannot thank each of you enough for pushing me, believing in me, and helping me grow to who I am today. Lessons I have learned while being a student at UJ will continue to be with me well beyond these next few years. All in all, I am so proud to be a student at University of Jamestown and will be an even prouder alum come May. Coming to Jamestown was the best decision I could have ever made for my athletics and education.
Thank you UJ.