Syd San Juan is a junior from Novi, Michigan. She is a catcher on the softball team. (Hillsdale College Ath­letics | Courtesy)

Q: What’s chal­lenged you the most at Hillsdale?

SSJ: The most chal­lenging part for me was last semester. I was sick and I missed every single day of class after the first two weeks. Dealing with that and con­stantly copying notes from people — plus the course-load — was very chal­lenging. Time man­agement has also been very chal­lenging. You almost have to pick two of three things: good grades, social life, or being good at sports. It’s hard jug­gling them all.

Q: How has your per­ception of college changed from when you were getting recruited as a high-schooler to now?

SSJ: In high school school, I kept wishing the time away, trying to get to the next thing. In college I want it to slow down. The next big thing is the real world and that seems very real. I also didn’t think college was a place where I could grow spir­i­tually, but here I have grown and it’s easy to be a Christian. Everyone is com­fortable expressing their faith and we all share similar view­points, which is why the real world is a bit fright­ening, because I am not chal­lenged that way here.


Q: What was your proudest moment as an athlete?

SSJ: The obvious is our con­ference cham­pi­onship last spring. It was amazing and so much fun to be a part of that and expe­rience that win. That’s from a team stand­point. Per­sonally, my proudest achievement as an athlete is being able to play a sport com­pet­i­tively without having to identify as a softball player. My identity is not defined as a softball player but as a person and a Christian. It’s a lot easier to deal with the neg­a­tives that will inevitably come when you’re really only playing in front of one person: God.


Q: What are you looking forward to most this season?

SSJ: I’m looking forward to seeing the freshman grow. I was com­paring how they play and act to how I was playing and acting when I was a freshman. When I was a freshman, I was quiv­ering in the box, but these freshmen are con­fident taking big ole’ hacks at the ball. I’m very excited to see how they develop and grow as leaders. I’m also excited to win the con­ference cham­pi­onship again this year.