Written by: Joan Cannon
***Joan has always dreamed of attending an Ivy League college and playing on its tennis team. Her entire life from age 13 onward has been focused on achieving this long-term goal. Joan and her parents moved to Burlington at the start of Grade 9, so that she could train full-time at the ACE Academy. By Grade 10, Joan managed to establish herself in the top ten in Canada for her age group and began to focus more seriously on the academic prerequisites for an acceptance to an Ivy League college. After four long years of commitment and hard work, Joan was finally accepted to Princeton and is now blogging us about her freshman season.***
Hi from Princeton! Well, my parents and I drove down to Princeton (8 hours!) about 2 weeks ago, and I moved into my ENORMOUS room. I’m living in Forbes College, which is the nicest college as it used to be a hotel (I have my own washroom … so lucky!!!) but the college farthest from the centre of campus (yay … no Freshmen 15 for me!). It definitely feels like and looks like Hogwarts, although I’ve had to fend off 5 cockroaches on my own without bug spray.
On my 1st day, I bought a cell phone and a laptop, and I started a bank account and filled it with my parent’s money. Yes, my social life starts in college. My parents couldn’t wait to leave me, so they left on the second day and booked a trip to Florida on the next day. My first week was a blast, and filled with fun ice-breaking and ice-melting International Orientation activities. I met so many interesting people from countries that I’ve never even heard of (Oman) or been to (Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Jamaica, Ghana). I also found the other 20 Canadian freshmen on campus, and about half of them are playing on the men’s and women’s hockey teams (what a shock).
By my second week, I started being able to find my way around campus … or at least most of it while I had my face stuck in front of a map. Tennis practice and weight training started, and I realized how much I love my team!! We have 8 people on the women’s tennis team … 2 seniors (Hil and Rach), 2 juniors (Mon and Cait), 1 sophomore (Flanny), and 3 freshmen (me, Gopes, and Linds). They’re all fabulous in their own ways, and helping me break out of my shell. My coaches, Megan and Luana, are the best coaches that I could have hoped for (but Pierre will always be my favorite!). They are very laid back and do-it-yourself types of people, but at the same time are very passionate about and invested in the team and every player. I had the best week of practice that I’ve ever had this past week. Practicing as a team is just so different than anything else I’ve ever experienced. I felt and heard the support of my team members with their constant cheers of “Let’s go Princeton” and “Here we go Tigers”. This past week was all about forming a team bond as we ate, sweat, hung out, and hit the Street together. I also love how close the men’s and women’s tennis teams are, and I feel like we’re all one big happy family (cheesy I know, but it’s true).
Our 1st tournament is in 2 weeks at the Brown Invitational (hey Souf!), which I am super excited for. The next week for me is Freshmen Orientation, lawn parties (where we all dress up really preppy to fulfill the Princeton stereotype!), tennis practice, and time to pick classes (which don’t actually start until the 15th). Well, I’m off to a soccer match between Princeton and a rival school but I’ll write next month to let you know about my first college tournament. Bye!