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.