By Mia Len
Let me tell you about being an NCAA D-III student-athlete at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.
The D-III life has been the most rewarding experience in my opinion. Sure, there are ups and downs – more good days than bad, of course – but at the end of the day, I firmly believe my experience as a member of the Wheaton women’s basketball program will help me both in and outside the classroom, as well as beyond the Norton campus when I graduate in two years.
I am excited to tell you about my experience this winter as a student-athlete blogger for Noontime Nation. And I hope each post I produce for the site will provide a glimpse (and some insight, too) into what my life (and experience) is like at Wheaton as both a student and an athlete.
Prior to our Thanksgiving break, I begin my day with two classes: economics and social entrepreneurship. Both classes, coincidentally, are with my teammates. I am a business major, so both of these classes are right up my alley. And one of my teammates and I are working on a project together that consists of interviewing a social enterprise. We have spent a lot of time on it and are excited to present it to our class during this particular week.
After class, I head to my favorite spot on campus to eat lunch with my teammates in the student-center at the Diana Davis Spencer ’60 Café. This particular cafe features a variety of food choices and coffee (of course) and is where I spend a lot of time doing work, but also some socializing with friends. And on this particular day, the cafe is offering a flatbread and soup deal – it was delicious!
The cafe is also the spot where I usually work on the graphics that I post on social media – I am both the social media coordinator for our women’s basketball team, but also the athletic department, too. I like to ask my teammates for their opinions on the graphics I produce before they are finalized and ready to be shared.
On this specific day, though, we happen to have a game at the University of New Hampshire, so once I wrap up my work (and food) I head to our team’s pre-game meal where I can also do some work and get ready for our team’s sixth game of the 2019-20 season.
Following our pre-game meal, my teammates and I head to the bus for a long ride to New Hampshire. But for some reason, traffic cooperated – crazy, right? – so we arrive two hours earlier than expected, which provides our team with some extra time for warmups. And before we know it, it’s game time.
New Hampshire wins this particular meeting, but the experience of competing against a D-I squad was awesome – I am sure it will help us moving forward, as well as when we begin conference play next month against Mount Holyoke College.
On our way back, I watched a movie with one of my teammates and before we knew it, we were back on campus ready to go to bed – it has been a long day.
And thus concludes my first installment of the D3 Life for Noontime Nation – I hope you enjoyed learning more about my experience at Wheaton and I certainly cannot wait to tell you more in a future post, so stay tuned for our next installment.
I love being a D-III student-athlete, especially at Wheaton. And while my days can be long and tiring with classes, practices, and extracurricular activities, I know deep down this experience – and the memories I am making with my teammates and classmates, too – are worth it.
Mia Len is a sophomore at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the women’s basketball program. Len, who is a business major, is also our first student-blogger for ‘The D3 Life,’ which provides readers with a glimpse of what it takes to be a student-athlete in NCAA Division III.