Category: athletics (Page 1 of 2)

On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

Growing up in Morris, Manitoba just south of Winnipeg, I was involved in sport starting in elementary school. I participated in many school sports, but invested most of my time in basketball, playing competitively from grade five until grade eleven.

Jess Edel - On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

In grade ten, I began playing club volleyball, and continued into my graduating year. It was then I decided volleyball was the sport I wanted to pursue further at the University level.

Transitioning from high school into university has been a challenge on and off the court. On the court, the level of volleyball is an adjustment. We practice 3 times a week along with fitness once a week.

Having practices so often and league games every weekend takes time away from studies. This makes juggling homework and volleyball difficult. Though being a student athlete has its challenges, it’s helping me develop good time management skills.

Jess Edel - On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

Another benefit of being involved in team sports is the sense of community that develops. Your team starts to act as a second family. They always have your back, and if you ever have a problem, they’re willing to listen and give feedback.

Being on a sports team has made the transition from high school to university much easier, creating opportunities for new friendships.

When I first came to CMU, I was skeptical of what university life was like. Being part of a new environment where you don’t know anyone, while trying to get to know the campus can be extremely intimidating.

However, being part of a sports team at CMU has given me a way to get to know other students through my teammates. All of the sports teams are relatively close too, so I’ve been able to connect with students on the other teams as well.

In high school, I relied on the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 to encourage me whenever I felt like giving up.

Jess Edel - On the Court and in the Classroom: A Challenging Transition

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength,” reminded me at many low moments that I can do all things, especially through the power of Jesus Christ. This scripture has continued to encourage me in life at CMU, both on the court and in the books.

The classes are larger, the professors are tougher, and the assignments are longer. This adjustment is hard for everyone coming out of high school, and can be even more challenging coming from a small, AA school in Morris, with 400 students attending from K-12.

It can seem intimidating and has its challenges, but I believe that with determination, hard work, and a strong faith, anyone can do it. If it weren’t for my amazing teammates, coaches, and peers, adapting to university life at CMU would be far more challenging.

Jessica Edel is a first year student, and member of the CMU women’s volleyball team from Morris, Manitoba.

From South Carolina to the South Side of Grant

Andi Jacobs - from South Carolina to the South Side of Grant

Throughout high school I knew I wanted to do something different for college. I didn’t want to attend the same four universities that nearly everyone from my high school chose. So when my family was visiting friends in Toronto, and I learned about International Development, a degree that is not widely offered in the States, I felt the opportunity to take a different path. It sounded like it would be just the right fit for me.

After a quick search on Google, I learned about Canadian Mennonite University. Not only did CMU offer a degree that was different, but it also offered small class sizes and a real relationship with my professors, which was definitely something I wouldn’t have if I attend the larger state schools in South Carolina.

CMU also offered a schooling option that was affordable. It’s no secret that American schools are crazy expensive, especially if you are considering attending university in a different state or a private institution. So even though I’m an international student, CMU is just as affordable as staying in my home state of South Carolina. Not only am I going to a great school, but I will also graduate with relatively no debt (thanks mom & dad).

I’ll admit that I was a little nervous going to university so far from home, as this would be my first time living on my own. Not only was the school far away, but it was also in a different country, which was nerve-racking, yet also exciting at the same time. The unknown is what frightened me, yet the possibility for new friends and a new city to explore far outweighed the risks. Thankfully, the community I found once I arrived at CMU was more welcoming and supportive than I could’ve ever imagined. True to their stereotype, Canadians are a friendly bunch.

Another important factor in my choosing a university was whether I would have the opportunity to play competitive volleyball. I had never considered looking at schools in Canada, but I’m so thankful I did. Last January I visited Winnipeg (my parents wanted to make sure I had a chance to experience Manitoba in winter), toured the campus, and practiced with the volleyball team. My visit sealed the deal. CMU was a perfect fit.

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The support on campus for academics and spiritual growth is something I have already learned to treasure. There are both chapels and fellowship groups during the week, and the leaders guide us through different worship styles whether that is contemporary, traditional, or something different altogether. While this Christian community is a big part of CMU, you can be as involved or uninvolved as you want. Regardless of your beliefs, you will be accepted for who you are as an individual.

Not only are the people welcoming, but CMU’s location is a welcoming place too. It is a smaller, more traditional campus with wonderful scenery, yet it’s only a few short minutes from being in downtown Winnipeg. If I need some fresh air after studying, there are miles of walking trails in the Assiniboine Forest, right behind campus. It is really the best of both worlds.

I am so happy with my decision to come to CMU. It truly has something to offer everyone.

Andi Jacobs is a first year student from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Volleyball

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I am a second year music student, majoring in voice, with hopes of pursuing a degree in Music Therapy. I discovered CMU because of its Music Therapy degree program.However, my choice was solidified because of the athletic opportunities available. In addition to studying music, I have had the privilege of playing on the CMU women’s volleyball team for two seasons.

The combination of sport and music has made my experience at CMU unforgettable. This unique opportunity has allowed me to enjoy two passions that rarely coincide outside of high school, and has equipped me with diverse friendships that range the gap between teammates and music peers. Though my agenda can be wild trying to juggle two demanding schedules, I do not consider it a chore trying to fit everything in. I value time spent pursuing my passions and often consider the work put in as a “study break”.

Living on campus has been a significant factor in helping me coordinate my time and social life with classes and homework. “Convenience” and “community” are two words I would use to describe the residence at CMU—both of which have made life easier as a “music student athlete.” With time spent running to and from classes, practice rooms, and the gym, how does one fit in time for homework and friends?Living on campus has allowed me to combine social time with study dates, and reminded me to make time for actual breaks with friends in a community that has been at my fingertips.

Ultimately, I hope to use the skills I have learned—and am continuing to learn—in the classrooms, practice rooms, and on the volleyball court to pursue a career in Music Therapy. I have grown to love music and am excited to use this gift as a tool for the maintenance of health and for healing. I look forward to using music in a way that brings joy to others the same way music and volleyball do for me.

Read more about CMU’s Athletics program here.
Update: Lacey’s team has taken home the MCAC volleyball championship!

Guest blogger Lacey Siemens is a second year music student

Playing basketball for CMU

I graduated from Carman Collegiate in 2013 and was recruited by the head coach of the women’s basketball team. I decided to come to CMU because I was interested in pursuing basketball post-secondary. I had heard a lot about the strong community aspect of CMU and was planning to stay for two years before transferring elsewhere to complete a kinesiology degree. 

Cassie plays in a winning game against the Providence Pilots this season

Cassie plays in a winning game against the Providence Pilots this season

After two years, however, I made the decision to continue at CMU and change career paths. I’m now in my fourth year and will be graduating with a BA majoring in social science. I plan to use this to apply for the Bachelor of Education or Physiotherapy program at the University of Manitoba.

Graduating at CMU has allowed me to keep multiple career options open, as well as play basketball at a competitive level for the full four years. I would suggest CMU to others in a heartbeat! The small class sizes are a major reason for my academic success here and the friendliness and openness of the professors also sets up students for success.

The small size of the school allows for great community opportunities that made transitioning from high school to university quite smooth me. Coming from a small town, I was pretty nervous to move to the city to start school, but making friends at CMU has been one of the easiest transitions.

My time with the basketball program has been an excellent experience. I have gained lifelong friends throughout my time here and have had the opportunity to play with many talented athletes. I am thankful to have been under the same coach for all four years.

Coach Joe and the rest of the coaching staff at CMU are a major reason for the success of the student athletes that play for them. He always emphasizes that we are students first and athletes second. This is an extremely important distinction that is not always emphasized at other levels or in different programs.

I am thankful to have been able to play basketball here at CMU as well as graduate (soon). It has been an amazing four years and I have skills, experiences, and friends that I know will carry with my for the rest of my life.

Guest blogger Cassie is a Social Sciences student.

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Balancing academics and athletics

Somebody wise once told me, “The secret to life is to have a good balance”. When it comes to academics and athletics I have found this to be extremely true.

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