Good advice for incoming college freshmen

I come from Argentina, my hometown is Mar del Plata in the province of Buenos Aires, with a population of 600 thousands, where I grew up with my family.
I started to play tennis when I was seven and have never stopped. I have a huge passion for the sport. Initially I thought I wanted to play professionally, but over time I realized that playing tennis in college was my goal.
When I was in high school, I met the person who was, at the time, assistant coach of the Cameron University men’s tennis team. He is from the same town I am from. He mentioned that Cameron’s head coach was looking for girls to join his women’s tennis team, and I contacted him right away. I was fortunate enough to be able to come to Cameron to learn and to play the sport I love.
My time at Cameron has been one of tremendous growth for me. When I first came to Cameron, it was my first time in the US, and I did not know anyone. Today, I know people from all around the world, from places such as Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Serbia, Croatia, Portugal, South Africa, Nigeria, Nepal, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Suriname, Caribbean, Mexico, Canada and many more.
My tennis team is made up of many different cultures. Sometimes it is not easy to agree with so many different perspectives and beliefs, but that’s what makes it more of a challenge, and, thus more interesting and enjoyable! I have asked my coach how he is so tolerant, dealing with so many different attitudes, cultures and accents!
When I came to Cameron I spoke only one language fluently, Spanish. Speaking and understanding English was a big challenge for me. Through hard work and dedication, today I speak three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese. My life has been changed and for the better.
Apart from students and teammates, I met many faculty members that gave me a hand during my Cameron career. For example, I spent many hours with Business Communication’s teacher working on my resume and preparing for my first interview, with the Assistant of the Dean, talking about my summer internship, and with my advisor, directing me for my career in Finance. Each one of them has helped me greatly.
Time management is something I learned is critical to success. Since my first day at Cameron, I have been a full-time student, a full-time athlete, and a student worker. To successfully meet these responsibilities, I had to work very hard on my time management skills. There are days I would come back from a tennis trip and have to study late into the night. It has not always been easy. However, I always tried not to only accomplish my obligations, but most importantly, accomplish them with a positive attitude. Instead of thinking how much I had to do, that I was not going to be able to finish, or that I was going to get a poor grade in a class, I thought about all the good things that have been made possible for me: I am doing what I always wanted to do, compete in college tennis, while pursuing my education. Even better, I am gaining experience while working, and earning some money to help my parents with the expenses.
While at Cameron, I joined many different organizations, such as the Accounting Club, Delta Mu Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, and SIFE. I was fortunate enough to have a summer internship working in the finance department at a known firm in the automobile industry. Each organization and job has allowed me to learn, meet new people, and grow as a student, as an athlete, and most important, as a person.
Sometimes our life’s path is not the one we expected. But, no matter what task you have, or job to complete, do it the best you can. Do it with enthusiasm and take pride in your work. Take ownership of what you do. Don’t settle for average. Strive to be the best you can be at everything you do. The smallest thing you do today may have the biggest impact on your future, tomorrow.

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