Hi everyone! It’s Amanda, checking in from Chapman University in sunny southern California.
I flew in on the 19th of August for orientation week and my classes began on the 26th of August. It’s a lovely little campus and I love being here. Things got moving pretty quickly and it’s going to be great calling it home for the next few years. It seems like everything got started right away except crew. Most collegiate sports usually start as soon as they can but my first recruitment, or reCREWtment as they call it, meeting was on September 11th. That may not seem like such a long time but trust me it felt like forever. Practice started the following Monday.
There are some major differences between college crew and rowing with CTC. One of the major differences is I walked into recruitment and was one of two new people with experience. With about 2 years under my belt as a CTC rower and coxswain I’m even more experienced than our current varsity coxswain who’s currently a senior. I gathered from hearing this news at the meeting that we’d be spending a lot of time “learning” how to row again and I was correct. Going over technique isn’t a major issue but if I’m being entirely honest it does get a little annoying hearing terms explained that you already know. But you have to do what you have to do.
Another difference is Chapman Crew is a club sport. As a club sport there’s a lack of university funding which means there’s a $600 fee per member per semester. The coach, Lisa, is a fresh Chapman graduate whose love of the sport compelled her to try to keep it going despite things like a lack of funding and lack of a coach.
The last big difference is practice. Practice here is every Monday-Friday from 5:30-7:30 AM. Yes, AM. That means that I’m awake every morning at 4:30 to walk to the parking lot by 5 to carpool to Newport Harbor by 5:30. Initially it was rough but you get used to it surprisingly fast. After practice I usually have time to come back to my dorm, shower, and nap before my first class at 9:00 or8:30(depending on the day).If necessary I can also request to leave early. One of my major concerns before joining crew was the time commitment but everything seems manageable and the team believes just like I do that school comes first. One perk of waking up so early is seeing the sunrise. It is truly beautiful. And like I said before, you have to do what you have to do.