Celebrate D3 Week
April 7-13, 2014 is NCAA Division III Week. This year we celebrate 40 years of athletic and academic excellence.
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My Northern Journey
by Taryn Stromback
I took a deep breath to try and calm my nerves before picking up the phone to call Coach Wills. I had made my decision: I was going attend college in my home state of Minnesota. My parents were ecstatic about this, because it was close to home and they could come watch all my matches. But something didn’t feel quite right. In my head, it was just because I didn’t want to tell a coach no.
But now was the time. He answered the phone call, and I nervously tried to tell him that I had decided to go to another school. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He told me I just hadn’t been to the school recently. Ohio Northern was the best fit for me; I just had to come back and remember that.
I eventually hung up the phone. My parents were not thrilled that I hadn’t officially told him no, but I had to break it to them: I thought he was right. Something didn’t feel right about my decision; something was pulling me back to Northern.
I ended up taking another visit to Northern, and I knew that it was where I was supposed to be. Everyone I came into contact with was friendly and helpful. I really enjoyed spending time with the girls on the tennis team, and the Dicke College of Business Administration had the unique pharmaceutical business major. I felt at home at Ohio Northern. And two years later, I’m 100 percent certain that coming here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Being a Division III student-athlete has been an amazing experience that I would not trade for anything. I’ve had the opportunity to play the sport I love, get to know an amazing group of women and compete in the NCAA tournament this past spring. When it’s been necessary for me to miss class for a tennis match, my professors here at Northern have always provided me with support and understanding. They have always been interested in how the team is doing and are willing to work around my match schedule to make sure I get everything I need for their classes.
But one unique thing about Ohio Northern and Division III athletics is that I am not limited to just playing tennis. At Ohio Northern, I have had the opportunity to play the sport I love as well as become involved in other organizations and activities on campus that I am passionate about. I was able to join the national women’s fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha; I currently serve as my chapter’s treasurer. I also had the opportunity to become a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council in the Dicke College of Business Administration. Because I play tennis, I was selected to represent the team in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Being a part of this committee is what enabled me to apply to become a committee member for the National Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Being able to play tennis and be a part of all these other organizations on campus has helped me develop my leadership and time-management skills, which I know will help me overcome any challenges that may arise in my future. Coming to Ohio Northern has provided me with experiences and opportunities that I know I could not find anywhere else. This place has helped me grow as an individual and as a professional, and I couldn’t imagine going to college anywhere else.
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