Some freshmen may think they have it tough these first few weeks
of school. With new roommates, new classes, new teachers and a
whole new campus to figure out, many first-year students are knee
deep in adjustments. But if you think that’s difficult, try
starting school with goalie Megan Tuura’s schedule.
As a freshman on the Michigan women’s soccer team, Tuura had
already been training and practicing for months by the time normal
freshmen arrived for move-in. Besides the regular “new” things, she
also has had to adjust to a new coach, new teammates, new and more
vigorous competition outside the classroom and a whole new lack of
“Most kids can veg out and play around on their summer
vacations, and I had to go run every day,” Tuura said.
“(With soccer) being a fall sport, you don’t really have a
chance to ease into the school year,” Michigan coach Debbie
Rademacher said. “Basically you’re adjusting to college life while
you’re thrown into a competitive situation right off the bat.”
And for Tuura, “competitive situation” isn’t warming the bench
while more senior teammates get first dibs on playing time. This
year she has already seen quality time, starting in Michigan’s
exhibition game against North Carolina and in its first official
game against Brigham Young last weekend.
“It was awesome, and that’s an understatement,” Tuura said of
her first collegiate start. “I had absolutely no idea that I was
going to start, and when they told me I wasn’t even nervous at
“Basically she’s challenging to be our top keeper,” Rademacher
said. “And that’s pretty good for a freshman.”
Especially for a freshman juggling both a strenuous academic and
athletic agenda. Still, there are some advantages freshmen athletes
gain over normal freshmen during the first year of college.
“Just being on a team, you have an automatic support system,”
“You already have a whole community you can go to whenever you
need help,” Tuura said.
The freshman goalkeeper confessed that she loves Ann Arbor, even
though sometimes she misses her busy home city of Atlanta.
Homesickness doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem for Tuura
and her fellow freshman class as they adjust to their new
lifestyles this year. They’ve already begun to make an impact on
the field – the young team has stepped nicely into the shoes left
by the six starters who left last year. And if these first-year
athletes are having success with the challenging athletic side of
their college careers, conquering the nuances of university life
can’t be too far behind.