By: Hannah Matheson, Spider Swim & Dive senior
As my sophomore year came to an end, I knew I had a choice to make. If I’ve learned anything in my three years of college, it’s that you always have a choice. The way I saw it I had two choices: I could quit swimming, the one thing in my life that has given me stability, confidence and happiness for the past 15 years, or transfer schools.
When I was a freshman, my expectations of where I was couldn’t have been more different than my reality. Everything I thought I’d always wanted was ruining my love for the sport, but I wasn’t ready to give it up just yet. The decision I made was to choose the unknown and do whatever it’d take to become a passionate swimmer once again. I believed that change was the only way to do that. Somehow at the time, the decision to come to Richmond didn’t seem as huge as it really was. I had no idea that it would become the best decision of my life.
Transferring wasn’t as scary as it sounds. I was so ready to get out of an environment that wasn’t working for me and that change was more exciting rather than scary. The worst part wasn’t deciding to leave, it was figuring out where I could go. Eventually I realized that I would just have to take a risk and hope for the best. When the University of Richmond became an option everything just seemed to fall into place, and I quickly realized that it was a risk I was very willing to take. After taking a short trip to campus, I remember telling my mom about my day in Richmond and as I was talking, it hit me that I knew this was the place I needed to be.
This time around, I didn’t have any expectations going into my first semester at Richmond because I truly had no idea what to expect. Since then, I’ve been able to do much more than become a passionate swimmer again. My experiences that led me to transfer have given me perspective that I’m so grateful to have. Forgetting what I loved about swimming actually helped me love it even more now. Making a decision to take charge of my own athletic career transformed me into a happier, stronger and more confident person. I’m now someone who’s proud of myself and the team I’m a part of. Making the best decision of my life all started with realizing I had a choice to make and I’ll always be grateful that I made the right one.