Yvonne Jia: My Freshman Year

Edina Swim Club ’22

Brown University ’26

MSV took a trip to the Ivy League and sat down with Yvonne Jia to talk about her experience as a freshman at Brown University.  Yvonne knew she was going to swim in college since being part of a close team had been a big part of her club swimming.  She saw many of her role models during that time head off to college and find success in the pool, as well as academically and come back with stories about the wonderful teammates they had.

Swimming in college for Yvonne is a bit different than high school or club, mainly because you are around your teammates all the time.  In high school and club, you spend two to three hours together each day, but in college, you see your teammates in class, eat together, hang out together and of course, practice together.  Your team becomes your family.  Even when you’re not in season, those are the people you spend your time with.

Her team has also helped her manage a great balance between academic, swimming, and social activities.  There are great role models to help you learn how to manage your time with academics – at Brown, it’s understood that academics is the top priority.  The coaches understand if a practice needs to be missed every now and then for schoolwork.

Like most college teams, Brown traveled somewhere warm over holiday break for the annual training trip.  Hard work twice a day was made easier by the sun, warmth, and beaches of Boca Raton.  Anytime you can work on your tan in the winter is a plus!

Advice for athletes thinking of swimming in college:  Swimming is going to be a big part of your life in college so make sure that it is what you want to do!  Also, make sure the school you pick meets your needs if you are not swimming.  Finding a coach and teammates you connect with is also important.  Take the time to get to know them.

Advice for soon-to-be Freshman swimming in college:  Be grateful for what you have at home and be excited and embrace the changes ahead with no expectations.  Try to get to know some of your teammates that are a part of your incoming class ahead of time, so you have some built-in relationships on day one!  Oh…and don’t forget to make a packing list.

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