Thanksgiving; where I was lucky enough to be taken in by one of my freshman teammates families in Anaheim, California. While there I was shown around some very nice areas near the beaches and over-indulged at ‘In-n-out’ a very popular fast-food restaurant which we are deprived of here in Columbus, Ohio. Thanksgiving itself is a holiday filled with food, football, shopping bargains based around Black Friday and Cyber Monday and more food. The day itself is similar to Christmas in which you have a big meal with family and being an outsider all the stories were being told to me for the first time unlike my teammate and his sister who looked as if they had heard these stories hundreds of times previously.
Everyday life during the semester doesn't alter much; go to class/eat/practice/lift and mainly wait out for Friday's to come as they signal the weekend every week a college student’s weekly serenity
Our college football team lost their final regular season game in a very close affair with Michigan State, who won in the final seconds of the game from a field goal and knocked us out of contention for the national championship. To many fans and people involved in the university this is a big dampener and means students may have to actually do homework on the weekend instead of soaking up the game day experience.
As I may have mentioned before – but can never be over stated – the best thing about my experience here in the states so far is easily the great variety and surplus experiences to be had, things to do and people to meet. I have gone to see a student run dance group performance, I’ve met hundreds of new people countless of whom I don’t remember their names, I’ve played (although not very successfully) in a corn-hole competition, I’ve met people from Brazil, France, England, Ireland, Russia and all over America and I’ve met countless other athletes here at Ohio State.
The last 2 months have been relatively quiet with the initial practice block finished we practiced once over six weeks from the end of November until the 27th of December. This was a very nice break that encompassed thanksgiving, lifting, final exams, Christmas and much rest.
Final exams here brought back the memories of High school VCE exams with the Library finally being used for studying and everyone expressing their nerves in different ways. Once done with exams I was able to have a 10 day break from dorm life, where my roommate and freshman teammate and his family took the local Australian into their homes. The way people welcome others into their homes and just in general here is something never lost on me and is not taken for granted, the best part was they understood that in our time off we did not want to do anything and let us do that! On the 27th of December we resumed Volleyball practice in preparation for the season which started January 2nd.
This season I will be red shirting and just a very brief description of this is I will not play in any matches, but my athletic eligibility is not used up so I have another four years to play. There are many other factors that come into the decision and I encourage anyone that has any questions/concerns about this to not hesitate to contact me because the last thing I want is to put anyone off coming to college in the states because of this one detail.
Classes start back next Monday and I’m looking forward to them because I will have things to keep me busy, also the cold is finally starting to set in with temperatures negative overnight and max temperatures are teasingly staying above zero for one more week I believe. When I’m dressed up for the cold here I feel like the bad guys from the Home Alone movies.
Well I think that’s more than enough for you to read in one sitting. I will try and post a blog at the end of February which will feature the experience of catching up with a fellow Australian volleyballer Gerrard Lipscombe when his Grand Canyon University Lopes play here at OSU on February 19th and 20th. So until then, stay safe and enjoy the sunshine and warmth!