Photo courtesy of the Office of Athletics
Carly Slack is a graduating senior from CSUSM’s softball team earning her degree in business.
She mentions how much being a CSUSM athlete has helped her grow and develop as an individual as she looks back on her four year journey.
Though a lot of activities were canceled in her final year, she made the best out of her university experience and made sure to savor all the experiences and opportunities that she could in her time as a Cougar.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am going to be continuing what I have been doing now. We haven’t had softball for a bit due to COVID. I am applying to grad schools so I am waiting for those responses. So either grad school or work more, and eventually I plan to start my own business. A combination of moving forward and doing those types of things.
How are you doing with COVID-19 and the changes it brought?
I have been all right. It was hard without softball and school being online. Basically everything I did was canceled. So it was definitely an adjustment. I kept moving forward and finding new things. Once we found out we weren’t going to play anymore, it was easier to move on. So it’s been okay. But I am still grateful for where I am today and everything that I have been able to do.
What will you miss about CSUSM?
I will miss the experiences and opportunities that have come to me through school and through people I have met there. Getting involved in athletics, studying abroad, the business program. There are a lot of different ways to get involved and meet new people and have new experiences.
What advice would you give to any new athletes coming into college?
I’d say for succeeding in college it’s all about time management and effort. Being able to juggle everything while giving effort to everything you need. There’s a lot of time to do different things. If you miss out on one thing you can do it the next time. Trying to get involved in any way possible with the school and athletics is important. That’s not something I was able to do fully until softball took less time. I’d say take full advantage of what the university has to offer and fully experience it.
How have experiences through CSUSM Athletics shaped you into who you are today?
They definitely developed me quite a bit with different responsibilities and expectations of being on their own. I think athletics and sports in general does a lot of that kind of stuff where before you were guided through it whereas in college you are more on your own but being in athletics gives you structure on how you do things and through CSUSM athletics I had a lot of different ways to develop. It helped me gain more confidence and learn more about myself.
What is your favorite memory from being an athlete?
There’s a couple, I’d say mainly the people I got to meet and the feeling of being a part of the team. At the end of our season, after our game, we were driving back on the bus together and our coach did karaoke and that was super funny. Another memory is when we played the United States Olympic team last Spring. That was actually our last game. That was my last game of my career, and that’s how I ended it, which was a pretty cool memory. I was able to close out as the pitcher, so that was cool too.
What is your favorite part of being on the softball team?
Being on the team you immediately have 30 people who are your friends or have your back. Whoever is on the field, it doesn’t matter who they are, they have your back when you are there. Another one of my favorite aspects is being a part of a community and a part of something that supports you. You are with the same group of people everyday which allows relationships to build really quickly compared to regular situations.
Do you plan on playing the sport through another league?
No. It doesn’t really go past college usually. So after college I am done. I already miss it as we haven’t played in a while.
Will you stay connected to your teammates after graduation?
Yes, absolutely. Everyone basically lives in the San Diego area for the most part. We will definitely stay connected outside softball and definitely be connected with our coach and teammates playing next year to watch games and relive the college experience a little bit.
What would you want to say to your fellow seniors on the team?
I would say that I am proud of how we developed as individuals and as a group as well as how we helped each other develop from freshman year. We were able to turn it around and develop individually. Looking back, it’s a great transition from where we are today from where we were our freshman year.
Sonya Vargas is a staff writer for The Cougar Chronicle. She is currently in her final semester of her undergraduate as a social science major with a minor in psychology. She aims to serve underprivileged youth and families in the future and continue writing. In her spare time, she enjoys being in nature, getting creative and enjoying the simple things.