A Transfer Story: Olivia Schmitke

My story about transferring is three fold really, without any of those parts the story isn’t done justice.

I did the thing that everyone says you shouldn’t but most of us do anyways; I picked my college because of the coach. Sure enough she called me a month out from the start of my freshman preseason and told me that she wouldn’t be returning that fall. I was pretty devastated, I had felt a strong personal connection to her and the loss hit home. That being said I still entered my first collegiate season excited and looking forward to the possibilities in spite of the bump in the road. God had allowed for me to make that decision after all, so it must be where He wanted me. For two years I poured myself into that program, the relationships and academics (though there was a period in there when I had mono… but that’s a story for another day). Half way through my sophomore year, and with some urging from external circumstances, I came to the realization that I had lost the excitement to play and that the environment was unhealthy for me. So I had to make the decision to make a change. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. I had to leave the girls I had been up with before the sun rose (far too many times), whom I had suffered beside, and whom I had shared so many laughs with. ~Shout out to those NGU girls, you all were and are amazing and I am so blessed to have gotten the privilege to play alongside each of you- you all made the decision to leave incredibly difficult.~

Overall, I didn’t leave because of playing time, because the team wasn’t a good fit, or because I wasn’t enjoying the academics; each of those things were good. I left because God had closed that chapter in my life to make way for a new one.

In three weeks during my sophomore spring semester I traveled approximately 2,220 miles, said “Hi, my name is Olivia” so many times I lost count, and was in three different time zones… not to mention the countless tests, papers, and homework assignments due in between there. It was a whirlwind, and frankly by my third college visit I was exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. However, God had a hand in all of the details and through a conversation with Coach Isaac, that was characterized by monkey socks (something worth asking about), my feelings of exhaustion began to fade away and be replaced by the excitement for a fresh start. In the days after my Union visit doors continued to open in ways I could have never imagined, God had made it clear that Union University was my next chapter.It was time to take a step out on faith.

That step of faith landed me in a completely new environment with a whole new team and a fresh start. It was exciting, refreshing, and intimidating. I had to prove myself to 26 new teammates, and two new coaches as well as navigate a new campus and environment. However, I got to experience all of those transitions from the perspective of a junior rather than a freshman, which was really pretty cool. Through this transition time I grew a lot as a person, it was really humbling and I’ve come out three months later more blessed than I could have ever imagined.

I love my roommates, who are always game for spaghetti night. I’m thankful to be tied together with the three amazingly talented girls who will be seniors with me this upcoming fall. This past season, I was able to be a part of an incredibly talented team who made history and have the shirts to prove it. God brought me through a grinding journey with countless moments of frustration and confusion and landed me on a campus surrounded by people who push me personally, spiritually, and athletically. At the end of the day I walk off the field, win or loss, so proud to wear a U on my uniform.

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