May 13, 2013
Hello, my name is Cheridan Hawkins and I am from Anderson, Ca. I am a student-athlete at the University of Oregon and also a member of the 2013 U.S.A Jr. National Team. I am so glad I have been give the opportunity to blog for the U.S.A. Jr. National Team. This is my first blog ever and I’m ready to let you guys know about my life in college.
Before I begin talking about life in college, I will tell you how I started playing softball. I have an older sister named Natasha and I grew up watching her play softball and I remember wanting to be just like her. She was a stud! She worked so hard on and off the field and I idolized her for that. She ended up getting a softball scholarship to San Jose State University and I just knew that was something that I wanted to do as well. So, when I was old enough to play my parents signed me up for little league and I have played ever since.
I signed my National Letter of Intent to the University of Oregon and next thing I knew I was packing up for college. It all happened so fast and I couldn’t believe that I was already leaving my small town home to start a new chapter in my life. I had so many emotions, but I was ready to embrace this new life I was about to live.
Before I even arrived on campus, I was sent an itinerary for the whole next week. I lived by a mapped out schedule, something that was perfect for me. During this week we did every softball thing you could imagine. It was hard but it definitely made me a stronger athlete and individual. After this week passed, we were going to start school, tutoring, practice, and lifting/conditioning five days a week. Ready, set, go!
In the fall, we would lift and condition five days a week at six o’clock in the morning. I would say the hardest part about this is getting used to waking up at 5:30 every morning. Also, I am the only freshman with a car, so I drive everyone to our lifting facility. The only problem with driving everyone is if someone doesn’t wake up on time, we have to go get them up, regardless if that means banging on someone’s dorm room door and possibly face being late to our session. Being late is completely unacceptable amongst our team. Our strength and condition coach pushes us really hard, but in the end it is to the individual to get out what you put in. When season starts we only have weights two days a week because we our getting into our crazy, hectic season. Even though it is only two days a week, we still are working very hard in the weight room to gain and maintain all of the hard work that we put in during the fall training period.
Now lets talk about school and tutoring. Classes in college can be difficult, it just depends on what level class you take. The levels go from 100, 200, 300, and 400 and the higher the number the harder they are. Personally, I was very nervous about going to college because I didn’t want to struggle in school. As classes progressed and I became more familiar with the college life, I realized college isn’t that hard if you put in the time and dedication towards being successful. Also, as a freshman student-athlete at the University of Oregon, you have eight hours of mandatory tutoring which helps you get a ton of homework done. When I first heard how much tutoring we were required, I thought it was a lot of tedious time, but now I would not give up one hour of study hall for anything. I am so thankful for my tutoring because it has allowed me to be more successful in college.
Last but not least, practice. In the fall, we practice three hours a day, five days a week. Each day I am excited and feel like I am able to take some source of knowledge away each and every practice. Having Coach White as a pitching coach has been a wonderful experience because he has taught me so much. Practice is a great opportunity to learn and get better and that is why you need to take advantage of every time you step on the field. One last thing I would like to share about practice is how helpful it can be to listen to others that play your position. Jessica Moore and Karissa Hovinga have taught me so much since I have been here. They are both older than me and have so much knowledge to offer. If you have this so similar opportunity take full advantage of it.
My last subject for this blog is time management. Personally, I know that time management is extremely hard, but once you get your schedule down it is worth it. If you don’t have your schedule figured out, your life can get extremely crazy and stressful. There is a lot going on each and everyday so you have to know what is going on so you’re not surprised by anything. Even planning when your going to study and do homework is important because if you don’t make time for it, you more than likely wont do it. I am not saying time management is an easy skill to learn, but once you get the hang of it there will be less stress in your life. I know it helped me and I think acquiring the skill of proper time management can help you too.
Thank you for reading and you will be hearing from me soon.