I have set my sights on playing college hockey since I first started playing in the 6th grade. Because I realized that I started to play hockey at a later age than most players, I deliberately developed a strong work ethic that initially helped me compete skill-wise, and which has allowed me to excel over other players my age. The love I have for hockey fuels the passion and dedication to my hockey goals that continue to allow me to reach new heights.
Since I was a U14, I have played up on a U19 Tier II AA team. In fact, I was the youngest player on the U19 team each of the past two years. This experience has been very beneficial to my development, allowing me to get stronger as a player and as a teammate, to play at a quicker pace week-to-week, and to develop a mature mindset at a relatively young age. Each year, I have watched my senior teammates go through the college recruiting process and make their final commitments. This has been very informative and inspirational, and I am eager to reach that level myself.
I have always prioritized academics. In middle school, I was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, graduated as valedictorian, and received state recognition from Duke TIP for my SAT score in their 7th grade talent search. In high school, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking all High Honors level courses for classes where it is offered. I have made Academic Dean's List each quarter and have received three personalized Principal's List recognitions. I plan to continue to take High Honors and AP courses through the next three years. Just like in hockey, I realize that the more I learn in the classroom means the more I can do.
My effort in the classroom transfers on the ice. I put my full effort into every practice and take advantage of all the extra ice time I can get. When I am not training with my team, I workout at home to improve my strength and conditioning, shooting, stickhandling, or hockey IQ. I have learned that to be the best, you must always do more work than what is required of you. I make a point when I start every practice to be better when it ends than I was when it started.
Balancing school, hockey, and family life have helped me develop great time management skills, and I have learned how to take advantage of every bit of time I have. Knowing my priorities in life has helped me to focus my efforts while also enjoying the journey. Hockey is a huge part of why I am the person I am today. My few intense years of hockey have taught me that the more you work when no one is watching produces better results for the team when everyone is watching, and that casual effort does not produce growth. Thankfully, I have also found that my best friendships are through hockey - including girls on my travel team I do not go to school with and who do not even live in the same time zone as me. The sense of community that hockey gives me is something that I cherish, and I look forward to hockey being a core part of my college experience.