Student-Athletes Reflect on Time at UMaine
ORONO, Maine – On Saturday, May 5, the University of Maine will hold its commencement where 97 Black Bear student-athletes will receive their degrees. Below are student-athlete thoughts as they reflect on their time at the University of Maine.
"My time at the University of Maine made me realize that instead of being at the school, I was a part of the school. I would chose this school one hundered times again if I had the chance. Any success I have in the future, whether it be in hockey or anything else, it is because of the University of Maine."
"Being a student-athlete at the University of Maine has changed my life forever. The friends I have made and the memories I will take away with me are irreplaceable. Throughout the last four years, I have come to learn the true meaning of dedication, and that hard work really does pay off. I am proud to say that the University of Maine has made me a better person, and that I feel well-equipped to take on the next challenges in my life."
"Being a student-athlete here at Maine the past four years has given me opportunities and taught me life lessons I could not have gotton anywhere else. Competing at UMaine added another dimension to my college career, prompting me to be more focused and dedicated to everything I did the past four years, and I can not imagine college without it. I am torn on how I feel about leaving. I am excited to move on however sad I am leaving these past four years. I will cherish the times spent at practice and competitions with coaches and teammates the most once I leave Maine. As said last year by teammate Jeremy Bender, "when you are gone you're always a Black Bear," and I completely agree and am excited for what the next four years bring to University of Maine athletics."
"These past four years have gone by way too fast! I can honestly say that I have grown so much as a person from being a student-athlete here at UMaine. It hasn't always been easy juggling school with being in season all year long, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have loved wearing the UMaine jersey and competing with some of my best friends. I am so grateful for my coach, Mark Lech, and all the friends I have made while being part of this team. I want to thank my family, coach and teammates for always believing in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. Because of them I have gone from being a timid freshman to a more confident leader. These have definitely been the best four years of my life thus far! As I go onto study physical therapy in grad school next year, I know I will be faced with many challenges, but with what I have experienced as a student-athlete at UMaine, I know I can get through anything."
"Being a student-athlete at the University of Maine has meant a lot of late nights over the past four years. Running both cross country and track means that we are competing nearly every weekend from a week before school starts in August to a week after it ends in May. With that said, I would not trade in any time that I have spent as a student-athlete at UMaine. I have grown more as an athlete and as a person than I could have ever believed was possible in four years. Although it is hard to see my time at the University of Maine coming to a close, I am excited to take the next step in my life. It has been my honor to represent the University of Maine for the past four years. Go Blue!"
"The University of Maine Athletic Department gave me the opportunity to turn my dream of being a college athlete into a reality. I am forever grateful for the experience and the relationships I have developed over the past four years. I wish many blessings for all those who represent the U of Maine in the years to come."
"The past four years at the University of Maine have been amazing. It has been an honor to play hockey at the Division I level at UMaine. I have been able to contribute to the success of the hockey program and look forward to seeing it improve even more in the future. It is difficult to describe how much the last four years have meant to me. The family atmosphere within the hockey team has allowed me to form friendships that I will have for the rest of my life. Leaving UMaine will be extremely difficult, but I know I am well prepared for my future becase of the experiences I have had in the classroom, as well as on the ice. I will always Bleed BLUE!"
"I could not be prouder to declare that I am a Black Bear student-athlete. These last four years of embracing the role of two full-time jobs of being both a student and an athlete have helped shape me as a young man. The athletic department and athletic academic support services are to be commended for the excellent job they do every day. The University of Maine has done so much for all of the student-athlete body. Hard work, perseverance, dedication, and facing challenges head on are all daily requirements as a student-athlete. As Black Bears, it's great to know that we will take these same characteristics into the game of life. GO BLUE!"
"Without a doubt my four years as a Black Bear will be a time in my life I can look back on and realize how much I developed not only as an athlete, but as a student and as an individual. Every time I swam for the University, I wore that Maine blue with pride knowing that I was not only representing myself and the University, but all those who swam and competed here before me. I was a part of the Maine tradition. It is a privilege to be a Maine Black Bear athlete, something I will never forget or be able to replicate. It was by no means easy. The demand of being an athlete on top of a college student working towards a degree does not come without complicated schedules and frustrated moments. The coaches and staff here made even the worst days of practice and papers something to keep pushing through. Practices and workouts were hard while classes demanded the most of me intellectually I have ever faced. In my four years I have soared beyond all expectations I had for myself. I am grateful for everyone who believed in me over the course of my college athletic career. I am proud to be forever a Black Bear."
"During the last four years as a Black Bear, I have learned and experienced more than I ever thought to prepare me to be a strong, successful professional in the future. The University of Maine gave me an opportunity to get a great college education and a place to take my athletic ability to the next level. Thank you to everyone who has had an influence on me though my experience at UMaine! Once a Black Bear, Always a Black Bear."
"My four years here at the University of Maine have been a rollercoaster. Balancing academics and sports is a tough job, but the experience is worthwhile. I’ve met great people here who have supported me through good and tough times. All of the hard work, practice and dedication I put into the program has prepared me for some of life’s challenges ahead. Proud to be a Black Bear."
"Growing up right outside Orono, being an athlete at the University of Maine has been a dream come true. As a member of the athletic family, I have been fortunate to meet many wonderful people while traveling around the country representing my school. Whether in team sweats walking across campus or full uniform at the ball park, you feel a sense of pride being a Black Bear. Balancing classes, workouts, travel and competing at the highest level have given me the skills and confidence to be successful after graduation. The number of people that have supported and influenced me during my time here at Maine is far too long to list. The Athletic Department gives you the guidance necessary to excel on and off the field. You come in from high school as an individual but leave as a part of something really special. There is a powerful bond with current day and past players - friendships that will last a lifetime and memories that will be hard to forget."