For this tennis ace from California, balance is the name of the game.
I’m very passionate when I play tennis. I’ll do whatever it takes to win. But that has also caused a lot of mental strain. I can be very hard on myself — I’m a perfectionist.
My mom and my dad raised me to believe that balance is key in life: It’s key to success and happiness. On the tennis court, I’ve had to find the balance between wanting to win and still loving myself if I lose. My game since finding that has skyrocketed.
When life gets stressful, I like to spend hours playing my guitar or ukulele. They’re pieces of home that I brought with me. I’m a big music person — it’s an escape for me.
As much as I love California, I’m an adventurous person, so I wanted to go outside my comfort zone and prove that I could excel in a situation that I’m not used to. I wanted to come to the tri-state area to experience the different seasons and a different culture.
I was looking for a school with a good nursing program and a tennis team where I would be a starter but that had room for me to grow and push myself. That’s how I ended up at TCNJ.
Coming to TCNJ for the first time was quite nerve-racking. The college seemed so perfect that I didn’t know what I’d do if I didn’t like it. But I loved it. This was my dream school.
When I’m missing home, I pick up my guitar and play “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. It’s a song my mom sang to me growing up. It reminds me to not take life too seriously and brings me back to when I was a carefree kid in California. It keeps me grounded.
I’m a kid at heart and I think that’s the best way to look at life — through the eyes of a child. I really want to pursue pediatric oncology or pediatric emergency medicine. It’s a career where I can make a difference in people’s lives.
Picture: Bill Cardoni