The Tale of a Transfer Student

By Teresa Zortman

I very distinctly remember being 18 and thinking “I have this figured out.” By “this,” I mean college, and by “figured out,” I really had no idea. The only thing that I knew was that I wanted to leave my suburban hometown, and become “a badass business woman.” With that specificity, what could go wrong? But what happens when you choose the ‘wrong’ place to spend the next four years at the expense of thousands of dollars? What if you are under contract as a student athlete? What if your instagram pictures at the beach make your friends red with envy? I hope that by sharing my transfer journey, at least one struggling college kid can resonate and understand that it is okay to take your college experience into your own hands. Your happiness is important, radical change isn’t the answer for everyone but for myself it was exactly what I needed.

A little about me

I grew up in a California suburb that has become known for the railroad running through it and the rice fields surrounding it. A great place to raise a family, being an hour from the Sierras and two from San Francisco. Pretty perfect for the matured adult, but pretty boring for the car-less teen. Luckily, I was a decent enough track and cross-country runner to get some collegiate attention. After a quick visit to Southern California and a scholarship offer, I was on my way to Los Angeles to start school in the fall, leaving my sleepy old hometown in the dust.

You do not have to be happy all the time, but it should be part of your experience

Have you ever seen the Spongebob episode where Squidward goes to a village of other Squidwards? He thinks it is perfect until he realizes that the days there do not vary or change, and everyone there is fine with that except him. Well, that’s what I felt like after four months in sunny Southern California. The beach is great, but the 10 miles to get there took 25-30 minutes because of traffic. I was running the sport I love, but the practice regimen was starting to break down my body. I had some nice friends, but at night I would still break down alone and cry. Somehow everyone was living in their paradise, except me. I wanted to like this place, I spent so much time telling people about how excited I was to go “Sunny, perfect SoCal” before I left home, I was sure it would pan out.

There came a day I realized that maybe I did not fit in at my current school. I sat and filled out transfer applications to various schools, but I could never send them. Shame that I was “giving up on my team” or that people from home would laugh at me since I was so sure when I left. I felt trapped. I tried to assimilate to the culture and every time it only made me realize even more that I did not fit in. With the way things were going at the moment, I was depressed, angsty, and no-where near the best version of myself. I had never quit something before, that’s why Cross-country and track had come naturally to me, but at some point my course needed to be corrected, so I opened up for that to happen.

When I stepped on the campus I knew

During the Summer, my family was taking our bi-annual trip to Montana. My younger brother was on the college search, so we stopped by University of Montana. An old friend from high school was attending the university and graciously gave us a tour. The tour was for my brother, but I fell in love. The campus lit something inside me the moment I stepped foot on the brick paved walkways. I continued to think of Missoula as we drove away and even when we got home. That was a feeling I hadn’t had before.

So, while sitting at my Southern California University, I applied, got in, and got a scholarship.

There’s no good way to tell everyone

As my second year in Southern California drew to close, the reality that I was leaving began to set in. People would ask me about housing arrangements for the next year, and I just smiled and said “oh yeah! Maybe we can do that!” I knew I had to tell everyone.

So I started with my closest friends.

They were more supportive than I could’ve even hoped for. I felt closer to them because they only wanted what was going to make me happy, if that meant a different school so be it.

Not long after telling them, the news spread on the track team like wildfire. I got people coming up to me asking if it was true, the cat was officially out of the bag. Some people surprised me with how supportive they were, some turned out to be hiding the same secret. One of my closest friendships was forged by the fire we went under for transferring out. I felt so loved by people who I would’ve never expected. For those people I am so grateful. Others were not as supportive, and still do not talk to me, but that was something I had to learn to be okay with. It strengthened me in patience and love so much that the depression and anger that lived in me no longer had a place to live, even if they felt entitled to be there.

It’s okay to doubt

Before I left, even though I had been accepted to UM and more and more details of the transfer had begun to come together, I still questioned my decision. I would love to say that it was ‘easy’ since I was clearly struggling, but the reality was I was living a life that I knew would be discontinued in a matter of months. After the good workouts, the beach visits, the good days, I truly questioned if I should just pull the plug on the transfer and gut it out. I remember breaking down on the phone with my Mom wishing that I would just know what the right choice would be, she simply said “you’ll end up where you are supposed to be.” As I sit here in my favorite coffee shop in Missoula, I can say she was right.

Where I am now

Almost everyday, my decision to come to University of Montana is affirmed. The University took all but a few of my transfer credits, and supportive staff has made me enjoy academics truly more than I ever have before. I have formed close friendships with other friends, transfers and traditionals alike. I even entered a sales competition within the business school and took home 3rd, bringing internship opportunities and close relationships with inspiring professors that I had not known before. There is a sense of comfort that comes with being in the right place, it’s unexplainable.

Even though as I am writing this it is -5˚ in Missoula and Sunny and 65˚ in Irvine, I have no doubt this is my place.

My Advice

There is a difference between missing home and missing out. Too often, college students feel obligated to gut out a decision they made when they were still in highschool. Psychologically, your brain changes from 18-22, that also happens to be when we, as students, have to make one of the bigger decisions of our lifetime. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind, or making the ‘wrong’ choice for you. Life is as positive or negative as you want to make it, having the courage to take your happiness seriously is not something to be overlooked. Transferring is so often ‘taboo’ because it IS a radical change, but why is a radical change towards happiness a bad thing? Everyone is entitled to pursue their own future and happiness.

Transferring universities is not a “one size fits all” solution. But for some, it can make all the difference.

Battle Between ‘America vs. Europe’

I would like to start off with saying that I am not trying to attack Americans, I am just trying to describe the differences and the way I feel about it.

Beyond the stereotype (because we all love to generalize (including myself)), there is more to the image of the average American. European people tend to image the average American as a big person with oversized clothes preferably an American flag on it and an XXL Coke or a hamburger in the hand, and then a gun somewhere around the belt. Since I moved to America, first I got a huge culture shock, but I surprisingly found some great things about this country and their citizens. The fascinating thing is that there are so many differences between the two continents; Europe and America, besides just the language. I mean give it a try and Google; ‘differences between US & EU, you will see what is popping up first. 😉

To not be too offensive, let’s balance it up with stereotyping an average Dutch person; direct and honest in words which can be received as rude, trying to be funny 24/7, blond (&dumb?), blue eyes, tall, wooden shoes and preferably a joint in the hand and a Heineken bottle in the other hand. People tend to think that The Dutch like to visit the ‘coffee-shops’ and the ‘Red Light District’ often, since it is all legal. Oh and Germans like to call The Dutch ‘Cheese-heads’. 

 

  1. Education

When you think about America, we tend to think that everything is huge. True, universities and campuses can be insanely big, something that doesn’t exist in Europe. But in Europe, a college education is cheap or even free and offers no frills. But, you won’t necessarily find these cute liberal arts colleges where the classes are small and the professors are eager to be mentors. No, in Europe, classes are typically held lecture-style and professors don’t consider their roles to be mentors. But, size alone doesn’t explain the difference. Most Americans, after all, desire to attend large state schools. At European universities, there is mostly no central campus, the university buildings are scattered across the city and lots of these buildings look more like office complexes. No quadrangle to meet. No dormitories. No sports teams. No mascots. Which was for me the solution to come to America and play college tennis.

 

  1. Dress code

I already started off with the stereotype American with oversized clothes and no desire for fashion. Students for example, love their hats, wear them in class or to a bar/club and never take them off, it looks like they are glued on. Are they so insecure about their haircut? Well, it looks like, Americans don’t always seem to care how their hair looks. While European boys can be sometimes too much, they take hours in the bathroom to make sure that their hair is on fleek. I received a major culture shock when I arrived; I can now basically go straight from waking up or Netflix into business class, since in the classroom athletic clothing or pajamas are considered as business casual.

As in Europe there is a higher standard of what you wear. Guys with skinny jeans could be a normal, daily outfit. Europeans care more about what you wear and how you dress, in the eyes of some Americans it could be ‘overdressed’, for them it would be what you wear to prom.

 

  1. Transportation

Again, America is huge and so are the distances; things are reversed when it comes to distances. Europeans would like to think that driving 100 km is quite a long way, while for Americans that would be rather near.

Yet, Europeans travel much more than Americans, inside or outside their own continent. This might be because Europeans are used to go “abroad” since their childhood, European countries being so small, and do not feel the whole experience to be so exceptional. Supposedly Seattle residents feel the same about going to Canada, a stone’s throw away.

Almost all Europeans have small cars with manual gears, while Americans have a marked preference for big and automatic ones, since the size matters in America. The whole world is trying to go ‘green’ and think about the environment, but America seem to have lack on that, since the trucks and the huge cars are still around in large amount.

Besides the car, public transportation isn’t a big thing in America, but the solution in Europe. In Europe, every city or even country is reachable by train or bus, there are even night trains in which you can sleep. Probably because of the smaller distances people are used to take the bike to do a grocery (seen the exercise of the day for an American, but part of daily life for Europeans), while in American people seem to drive for every minute they have to walk longer.

 

Some short facts that made me realize the differences;

  • European countries all have a lot of traditional dishes from their region or city. The Netherlands is an exception, the Dutch aren’t famous really for any traditional dish. Fast food and the drive-thru really is a necessity in the American culture. Deep-fried food covered with sauces galore is an actual thing. This travesty they have the audacity to call “French bread.”
  • Restaurants that serve ice in your water, no matter the weather. Waiters that come check on you every minute & fill water when you just had 1 sip. At least water is always for free, which is not the situation in Europe, a true downside of Europe in my opinion.
  • Exaggerate behavior of employees in restaurants, I feel like they all graduated with a theater degree in school.
  • Dutch people eat (good quality) bread in the morning and for lunch, in America they barely eat actual bread.
  • Ungodly portion sizes at restaurants. The biggest size coke in EU is here the smallest, and there is not even refill in Europe.
  • People fill your grocery’s in bags at the grocery store, I have never seen anyone doing that in Europe.
  • The huge 3-liter wine bottles that I have never seen in Europe before. Quality before quantity I guess.
  • The price for (quality) cheese $ in America……….
  • Toilet visits are always free in America, great thing because you often have to pay to go pee in Europe. Even in de nightclub..
  • Americans never put the fan on when they cook, just when it is necessary and the food is on ‘fire’.
  • When I go to the shopping mall, every minute some employee comes up to me to ask if I need help (especially Victoria’s Secret).
  • Being asked for your ID for every bar/club you are entering, even though you are way older than 21, and you look rather closer to 30.
  • Texting is still big in America. For Europe, ‘Whatsapp’ is the shit. I haven’t ‘text’ someone in like 5 years I think. We all use Whatsapp, it just uses data/wifi and you can text and call. So, no one has a phone plan which has messages included.
  • In America, they like to say ‘hey’ and ‘bye’ on the end of a message even though it is a good friend. Ending with XXX is inappropriate somehow.
  • In Europe, they say more f*ck than anyone ever says in America, and English isn’t even our first language. It is received as rude in America, same as ‘shit’ and ‘pissed’.
  • Stores, shops and gyms are 24/7 open, you won’t see that often in Europe.
  • When someone says, “how are you?” but they really mean “hello” and actually DGAF how you are.
  • There are so many people smoking (cigarettes) in Europe, in restaurants, clubs, in between breaks from classes. The smoking percentage is way lower in America, which is great.
  • American flags. Everywhere. I don’t think you will ever see a Dutch flag by just walking through the city or neighborhood.
  • Religion what is that? Religion is significantly less important to (western) European countries (Netherlands, Belgium etc.) than to Americans.
  • Americans and Europeans don’t always agree on questions about morality, especially on issues related to sexuality (abortion etc.).
  • I really have the feeling that people ‘hurry’ to get married/engaged. Which is not the situation in Europe, nevertheless people don’t always marry anymore, just because religion became less important.
  • Then tipping, tipping is a necessity in America, for coffee, drinks and even tattoo’s and they prefer 20%, even if the service was mediocre. Which is a ridiculous amount in Europe. A couple of euros for a good meal is more than enough, especially for the stingy Dutch people.

 

I might seem to hate America, but don’t get me wrong, America is still a great part of the world with beautiful nature and people.

 

~ Stanzi Stuijt, Senior and International student from The Netherlands, studying Business Marketing at The University of Montana.

Get Out of Your Own Way

All my life I have abided by this plan.  A plan involving a series of life goals to be completed in a particular order at a particular time with little variation.  I am very much a perfectionist – refusing to accept any standard short of perfection and breaking at the seams when things stray out of my control.  It is something that I found little fault in until I realized that it was actually getting in the way.

I grew up in Charlo, MT, a small town about an hour north of Missoula, MT.  You can verify this with my parents, but I believe I got off to a good start – not getting into a lot of trouble growing up, smiling for pictures, and eating my fruits and veggies.  Like most small-town kids, I was involved in a lot of school sanctioned activities.  I stayed busy spiking volleyballs, dribbling basketballs, or leaping over hurdles after school.  I was a part of several student groups aimed at developing various skills and helping the community – all while maintaining good grades.  I had the support of my family, the tight-knit community, and all the hours invested into me by my teachers and coaches.  When it came to my senior year of high school, I knew where and what I wanted to study before that notorious “last first day.” I was too proactive for my own good.  I filled out as many scholarships that came my way to ensure I could afford my college education without taking out loans or burdening my parents.  I received my high school diploma and was set to attend the University of Montana and study Marketing through the school of business administration in the Fall 2014.

Everything seemed to be going according to this meticulous plan I had my mind set on.

Although I know many non-traditionalists, adventurers, free spirts and the like that contest this idea entirely (and there is nothing wrong with that), I imagined my life following this ideal order in which I went to high school and graduated with good grades and big dreams for college.  I would start college the following fall with an idea of what you wanted to study and make a career out of.  I imagined meeting all kinds of people, growing as an individual, graduating 4+ years later, and stepping immediately into the ideal career the day after I receive my diploma.  To date, my life has followed this plan.  As I near the end of my college endeavors, I fully expected to make the later part regarding a career a reality.

Up until recently, I felt that I had to tailor my life to this rigid plan otherwise I wouldn’t succeed at getting where I want to be in my life.  I would fail myself, my family, and everything that had gotten me to this point.  I felt so constrained by this expectation I had put on myself to follow this plan exactly that the thought of not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life – let alone after college – was alarming.  As you can imagine this was a HUGE obstacle in my plan. I assured myself that I would figure it out.  I had to figure it out, but I was running out of time.  Quickly the seams of my sanity pulled further and further apart with each passing day.

I finally realized that it didn’t have to be this way at the source of many great epiphanies – a long car ride.

It all bubbled to the surface after spending a much needed four-day weekend away from Missoula.  On the ride home with my long-time boyfriend, we started talking about school and how we planned to turn our degrees into a career.  As the conversation progressed, I realized that I don’t honestly know what I want to do with my life, and I probably won’t find my ideal job right after college.

The more I thought about it, the more ludicrous this expectation seemed to me. Not only did I come to terms with that fact that it’s okay to not know exactly what I want to do, but how could I possibly know what I want to do for the rest of my life?  Why should I base the next 40-60+ years of my life on a mere 20 years of life experience and knowledge?  I was fed up with the preconceived idea that I had to stick to the plan.  I realized that it was unrealistic, and although it is a potentially suitable path, it is not the only path.  I finally committed myself to being less of a perfectionist and letting life take its course.

I don’t know exactly what I want to do and that’s okay – but I’m not going to stop trying to figure it out.  I want to be honest with myself and let go of the things I can’t control.  I want to search for opportunities to grow and become more of the person I want to be – whether that be job opportunities, painting, internships, traveling, volunteer opportunities, or voicing my thoughts in my first blog post.  I am a business student, but I don’t need a big corporation and paycheck for a satisfactory life.  I don’t want to get washed up in something to big.  I want to be purposeful and make an impact with the work I am passionate about.  I want to network with people not because “a bigger network makes you a better prospect” but because I want to have genuine relationships and get to know others who are finding or have found themselves to.  I want to be inspired by what I am doing.  I’ve realized that there is so much more to life than simply making money and living for the weekends.  If I want to accomplish these things, it is unlikely that I will get it all on the first try.  So, I need to stop thinking I will.

This is the type of realization that everyone seems to come to at some time in their life – a series of “mid-life crises.”  I have shared my quarterly life crisis in the hopes that it might inspire those of you that feel burdened by plans, expectations, social norms or whatever it might be to come to terms that sometimes it really doesn’t matter that much!  Even more so, I wrote this for myself – to hold myself accountable and remind myself to let go and live a little looser.

I will always plan, but I have made a pact with myself to not be tied down by it.  Someone once said, “Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I’m lost.”  I haven’t always believed this, but I’ve decided to start thinking this way.  Don’t be afraid to get lost occasionally and embrace your own journey.


Aspen Runkel is a student at the University of Montana pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.  When she graduates in May of 2018, she will have majored in Marketing with a certificate in Digital Marketing and a minor in Media Arts.  She enjoys painting, cooking, DIY, and being active with sports, hiking, and traveling.

Ser un viajero, not a tourist

 

 

As college students, we talk a lot about traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, and expanding our worldview. How can we do this in a way where we can truly begin to understand a culture? To me, this means to be a traveler (ser un viajero in Spanish), not a tourist. I prefer to travel in a manner that separates me from the typical tourist and allows me the opportunities to experience the types of connections with people and place that begin to foster a deeper understanding.  Here are a few tips that will help you see the true nature of a new place in short time.

Put away the travel guides.

Sorry, Rick Steves and Lonely Planet. Yes, you can find a wealth of information about any city or country in these books. Peruse them for details on must-see sights, but don’t use them to decide where to eat or sleep. You will be directed to places where you will encounter more tourists than locals, and miss the places that carry the true vibe of a city. Depending on a travel guide is like dipping your toes in the surface of the lake, compared to jumping off the dock and diving in!

Moclín, Andalucia, Spain Photo Credit: Rafael Olieto

Use public transportation – and your own two feet.

Taxis are expensive, but even if your budget allows, you will learn more about a place and its people on buses and in the subway. You will need to study maps and the layout of a city, the names of the streets, instead of placing your navigation in the hands of someone else. And allow free time in your schedule to wander and explore by foot, getting lost in the true sounds and smells and colors of the local culture. The best memories I have of Marrakesh are the streets that weren’t full of tourists, walking in the heat, smelling the food being cooked in the homes nearby. Or in Granada, climbing up and through the twisting streets, never knowing where one would end up.

Granada, Andalucia, Spain Photo: Vickie Rectenwald

Talk to strangers. Learn at least a few phrases of the local language.

You don’t have to proficient in another language, but knowing a few key phrases will allow to you to connect with the random person on the street who will send you to his uncle’s corner bar where you will eat the most amazing tapas, or to the quaint little café where no one speaks English but you will fall in love with the pastries and rich coffee. I have been fortunate to have made some great friends just because I was willing to ask a few friendly questions.

Let go of expectations.

You will encounter everyday things that are so different from what you are used to. Paying for the use of a toilet, the lack of wi-fi in every corner, no to-go cups for coffee, and nudity in advertising are just a few examples I encountered in Europe. Suspend your judgement and let go of the attitude that what is familiar to you is the best way. Smile, enjoy the things that force you to slow down and reflect.

Moclín, Andalucia, Spain Photo Credit: Rafael Olieto

Eat the local food.

Even if you do not completely understand the ingredient list, or how to pronounce it, give it a try. American food has found its way into most corners of the world, and you will have plenty of chances to have pizza and burgers when you get back home. But you will regret not giving your palate the chance to explore.  When I was in Spain, I was hesitant at first to try caracoles (snails). I took a deep breath, probably closed my eyes, and hoped I would not make too gruesome of a face in front of my hosts. Surprisingly, I was delighted with the salty, earthy taste. Caracoles became one of my favorite Spanish delicacies, and I definitely cannot find them in Montana!

Caracoles in Linares, Andalucia, Spain Photo: Vickie Rectenwald

I plan to continue to travel to new places and gain insights into other cultures. I hope my list of favorite foods grows and expands. But most of all, I plan to continue making friends around the globe that enrich my life.

I hope you find these tips useful, and I also hope that you can travel and learn in whatever corner of the world pulls at your heart. Thanks for reading, and please share your own travel tips in the comments below!

Vickie Rectenwald studies Marketing, International Business, and the world around her. She lived in Granada, Spain for a year, and has also traveled to Morocco, France, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii. She will try any food once and can always find something in common with the person she is speaking to. Follow her travels on Instagram @montandaluz.

8 Ways being a Student-Athlete has changed my life

Hey y’all! My name is Hayley Bingham, I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas in a little town called Rockwall.  I started playing golf when I was 13 years old and realized right away it was going to take me far.  I played competitively and found myself in the position to play college golf so I started the process the summer after my junior year.  I went on countless visits and met with players and coaches all trying to get me to their school.  My last recruitment visit was to the University of Montana about three weeks before early signing.  It was my last chance to really find what I was looking for and I did.  Three weeks later I signed my National Letter of Intent and started calling myself a grizzly.

Throughout my four years of being a Griz, I found that being involved in a sport and trying to play at the next level takes courage and discipline. I had to make sacrifices when it came to friends, family, school and a social life. I found myself using my sport as an excuse to get out of going out with friends or taking 8AM classes, but I also realized that it was the reason I had missed out on a lot of things. This was only the beginning, my four years at UM taught me a lot of things about the kind of person I wanted to be, the kinds of people I wanted to surround myself with, and what hard work and dedication really got me.

So here are the 8 ways being a student-athlete has changed my life:

  1. They tell you that you are a “student-athlete” but often you will feel being an athlete comes before being a student.

On my visit and all throughout my collegiate career, all of my advisors and coaches stressed that I was a student before I was an athlete.  But there were times when I found myself having to pick one or the other just like everything else. At the end of the day, my time and energy went into my sport and everything that comes with being a student-athlete. This is just the way it goes, I had to find a way to balance school and golf.  I can remember always having to do homework after 36 hole days and wondering how any of the information stayed in my head.  To this day, I am still convinced that it didn’t!

  1. Sports in college is one of the hardest things you will ever do!

Becoming a college athlete was one of this best moments of my life but nothing had prepared me for the road I was starting down. 6 AM workouts, 4:30 AM wake up calls to make it to the airport, traveling all day long, waking up to compete and then waking up to compete again.  Doing all of these things while trying to stay up on school work and have a social life eventually starts to wear on your mindset and your body.  I remember thinking nothing could get worse than high school athletics but I was wrong.  It was a whole other ball game in college.

  1. Wanting to move on can be normal

A couple times during my four years I thought about quitting or transferring. Things do get hard and sometimes when it seems like nothing is going your way this can seem like the easy way out.  I had a coaching change after my freshman year and I thought about transferring but I was glad I stayed.  My sophomore year I got injured in the second tournament of the season, ultimately stepping in a hole breaking my foot.  I had a long recovery and got depressed and felt like I battled through it all on my own.  There were times during my injury that I thought about quitting but I was really glad I didn’t! After my junior year I had another coaching change and wondered what else could happen?  I was glad that I stayed for my senior year at UM because it was probably one of the best experiences of my life. So, I argue that anyone who is looking to step away or transfer should remember that they picked this university for a reason.  Yes, things do get hard and everyone goes through slumps during their time as a college athlete but preserver through and it will be worth it.

  1. You never take off that Uniform, everyone knows who you are

I believe that no matter where you go to school, if you are an athlete you are known.  I found this out very quickly once I got to UM.  I would go get dinner with some of my teammates and people would point at our poster and then point back at us.  It was so awkward but people knew who we were.  Even if they didn’t know us by name they recognized us and that made me think about the way that I carried myself.

 

  1. Professors will think you have dropped their class, you missed that much school

For me, I can think of many times where I would miss up to two weeks of classes at a time.  I can remember a specific time where I was in class one day and the professor didn’t call my name on the roll.  I remember thinking it was bizarre but just waited until after class to bring it up.  Once class was over, I went down to the professor and told her that she skipped me on the roll.  Her response to me was that she just assumed that I had dropped the class because I hadn’t been there in almost two weeks.  Everything got cleared up but it was one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me.

  1. Your team is your family, so embrace it!

No matter what, my team will always be a part of me and I consider them to be family.  We went through so much together: wins, losses, losing and gaining teammates, losing and gaining coaches… the list goes on and on.  No matter what we were there for each other and because of that we have a bond that can never be broken.

 

  1. You will build some of the best relationships of your life

I have made some of the best friends from college golf.  We get to go to so many places and meet so many different people that I have met people from all over the world.  I am beyond thankful that college golf is the reason these people were brought into my life.  If I could give anyone advice, it would be to cherish these relationships and make the best of this experience.

  1. Once it’s over, it is over… there is no going back

College golf is over in the blink of an eye, it doesn’t always seem like it but it is.  If there is one thing I have realized, it is that you have to give it your all, all of the time.  Once you make that last putt on the last day of that tournament your collegiate career is over!  I didn’t completely realize this until after the conference tournament was over and I was on the plane back to Missoula, Montana for the last time.

At the end of the day, college golf is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, but if I had to go back and change it I would do it all the same.  The experience was unlike anything I have ever been a part of and I will always cherish the memories I have made here.  Thank you UM and thank you to all of my family, friends, coaches and teammates who put up with my crazy self along the way.

 

~Hayley Bingham

Fun loving, golf playing, sweet tea drinking southern girl