Niagara, NY: This summer, I was invited to visit Niagara University by the head softball coach. I was hoping this visit would lead to a scholarship but I was also interested because I have family nearby, which would make going away to college a bit easier.
When we arrived, the admissions staff helped us with the paperwork and gave us a tour. The campus has lots of trees and squirrels, and though small, it is beautiful with the nearby Niagara River and powerful Niagara Falls. The tour guide showed us the classrooms, gymnasium, hockey arena, dorms, chapel and, of course, the softball field.
At lunch I met the team and knew right away that I would fit in. Then it was time for classes and practice, followed by dinner with the coach and his assistants. I stayed over night in the dorm with a freshman who plays outfield. We spent hours, along with some of the other softball girls, chatting about college life. At that point I knew Niagara was the place for me because I felt so comfortable there.
The next morning we had another practice and I watched the team do batting, fielding and play a scrimmage game. With my skill level and experience, I felt sure I could compete with these girls. After practice, they invited me to brunch where we really connected.
Then it was time to head home. The coach thanked us for coming and said he would contact me. At the end of September, he called to offer me a full athletic scholarship. I was so excited - all my years of playing softball have paid off. I’m going to Niagara University!
Reviewed in 2004
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.