From small beginnings to the big stage

Photo courtesy of FIU athletics

By Alex Del Valle/Contributing Writer


For most, the transition from high school to college is cumbersome. The workload, responsibility, and loneliness at times can take a toll on a college freshman both mentally and physically. Luckily for some students the term athlete is attached to their title, linking them to newly found brothers or sisters to lean on.

In the case of freshman midfielder Lauren Hinton, coming from a small city with a population of 4,420 in Parker, Texas was a big step up. She was forced to acclimate quickly to the reality that she is no longer a high school student.

“I enrolled at FIU at the beginning of June, Summer B, it was so early, I arrived 3 days after I graduated,” Hinton said. “I’m going to miss seeing my best friends in the hallway every day in high school.”

The life of a student athlete is a rigorous one at first, especially for freshman. Getting used to the early morning wake up calls to start the dreaded two-a-days in the scorching sun is no walk in the park, neither is incorporating travel, and balancing schoolwork.

“I’m worried about days when we miss class to travel for matches,” Hinton proclaimed. “My main issue is not falling behind when we travel.”

Despite the constant balancing act most student athletes perform, life on the pitch for a freshman is not so bad as initially thought.

“It’s nice for us (freshman) right now because we don’t have a big roster yet, so a lot of the freshman are getting playing time and being pushed into that leadership role,” Hinton explained. “For me it’s easier to lead by example, I like to work hard and do my job for the team and when you do that I feel like you’re leading in your own way, all in all, the freshman have been getting a lot of opportunities.”

With fall finally here and the soccer season kicking off, it will be time to kick off the training wheels and allow these eight freshmen to flourish not only as students but as athletes as well.

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