This week, The Collegian sat down with Jessica Guertin, a senior history major who plays third base for the Hillsdale College softball team. We asked her about her love of the sport, why she chose Hillsdale, and where she will go next.
How long have you been playing softball?
I’ve been playing since I was three. I’m 21, so that’s about 18 years. I had an older brother and he was really into baseball. So of course I had to do everything that he did. I started playing baseball just to play with him and then I really loved it and kept playing. I’ve literally never not played it. I can’t remember a time I didn’t play it.
What do think of as your best moment as an athlete?
As an athlete you have a lot of moments you’re proud of. Probably my sophomore year in general when I made All-American. I remember the summer after my sophomore year; when I found out I was really excited. That’s kind of what every athlete hopes to achieve in college – to reach that status. So that was a real proud moment for me for sure.
What was the most difficult moment?
I can’t pinpoint one specific moment. My junior year was really difficult to balance academics and school. A lot of things have been tough, but everything that has been tough has been a good kind of tough.
Why did you pick Hillsdale?
I was home schooled before I came here, so I knew I needed the smaller atmosphere – the more personal atmosphere – of a school like Hillsdale. I still really like what Hillsdale stands for. I like the one-on-one relationship you can have with professors. I know it might sound weird to some people, but I actually like how small Hillsdale is, and I like that it’s secluded.
Where will you go next?
I’m still waiting to hear back from a few job opportunities. But I think I’m going to stay here in Michigan. I have a lot of friends in the Detroit area. Right now, I’m in the interview process for a managerial position with Target. I’m hoping to be an international buyer for them. I’d like to travel to other countries and convince people to sell their products through Target. I’m really focusing on Target right now.
I used to live overseas, so I’m very passionate about traveling and studying other cultures. I would love to be able to live overseas. I lived in South Korea and Japan. My dad’s a retired air force pilot. He moved there and we followed — it was a really great experience.
What has been your favorite class or professor here?
Dr. Birzer hands down. I had him for Western Heritage. I just fell in love with him. I fell in love with the class. I fell in love with history. I can’t even pinpoint a specific class. I’ve taken two of his upper level classes. He taught me so much about loving history and education.
Being a student-athlete has been the most challenging and exciting thing here, though. It’s kind of kicked me when I’ve been down, but I loved it and it pushed me to grow.