by Anna Nyberg, AVCA Intern and University of Kentucky Volleyball Player
It’s clear that most people watch and enjoy college athletics. Often rooting for their favorite team or player, seeing thrilling wins and the heartbreaking losses, or simply just following along during tournament time. It’s not always as transparent as what is seen on television, there are a lot of things behind the camera that each athlete endures to be the best they can be for their university.
My name is Anna Nyberg and I am part of the University of Kentucky volleyball team. I will be starting my final semester and volleyball season as a Wildcat this coming fall. I started playing volleyball at a young age and was fortunate enough to become a collegiate athlete at a great university. I didn’t know much about being a college athlete, but now I’ve experienced a lot of things that I never would have expected just from picking up a volleyball when I was nine years old.
Being from a small town in northern Wisconsin, college athletics and competing at the college level was something I was unfamiliar with, along with a lot of other high schoolers. Having a love for the game and getting in the gym as much as possible was all that was on my mind. I was never really thinking about what could come of it. Through the camps every summer, club tournaments all winter and my high school career coming to an end, I had to think about my future and make a huge decision. Choosing where I wanted to continue my academic and athletic career was a scary process for me, but to this day I still feel I made one of the best decisions of my life.
Time has flown by and I am starting to come up on all my lasts of being a college athlete. The early morning workouts, missing classes due to away games, traveling and sometimes sacrificing a social life were not always fun, but they were well worth it. Attending the University of Kentucky has shaped me into a better student, person and player, and I am grateful for the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve been presented.
As year four rolls around, I’ve had the privilege of going through a lot of life changing things. Such as the recruiting process, living the lifestyle of a Division I athlete and getting to compare my expectations to the reality of college athletics. It takes a lot of hard work, trust and dedication but it is an experience that will never be forgotten and I’m excited to take on my last year.
Through the summer, I want these blogs to give insight on college athletics and my experience with it throughout each stage. It is a grind as soon as you step on campus, but it is something that one would not want to pass up if they were given the opportunity.