Making the team
New world-class facilities, more players, more games, better teams – sport is kicking off at the University of Nottingham and sport scholarships are giving talented international athletes like Lauren Agan the chance to play the game of her life.
Words by Lauren Agan, Masters in Health Psychology student
I’m an outside hitter in volleyball. When I graduated last year, I was playing for Northwestern State University of Louisiana in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1. Pursuing an undergraduate degree comes with a lot of changes and growing up. I was a double major graduating in psychology and addiction studies. I was top of my class while being a student athlete.
There were hard times. Times when I missed home, like when my brother had an accident and spent days in hospital. There were times exhaustion crept in, when I had an 8am class after a 6am weight lifting session, and times during the hardest of conditioning sessions when I wanted to just keep running out the door and never return. Through every second of hardship, I became the person I am today.
I really wanted to continue playing my sport. I thought studying abroad was a good idea and an awesome opportunity, but I thought it was for people who had no fear and had a yearning for travel. I didn’t think of myself like that.
Amazingly though, I am one of those people right now. I’m so incredibly thankful for the opportunity that a sport scholarship has given me.
Everyone knows the stresses finances can bring. As a scholarship recipient, I can confidently say my finances are not my main worry – I can focus my time on my studies, volleyball, and of course travel! You have no idea how much receiving this scholarship means to my family. I will forever be appreciative for this experience of a lifetime.
“I’m so incredibly thankful for the opportunity that a sport scholarship has given me.”
Out of the Agan side of my family, I am the first to have a college degree and the first to be attending graduate school to receive my master’s, so this is a big deal for us. To continue playing my sport while pursuing my postgraduate degree abroad is a dream come true. I am seeing places I never thought I would see, all while studying at one of the top universities in England.
After this experience I know I will walk out with more knowledge about psychology and more job opportunities because of my master’s degree. This time last year I thought my volleyball career was over and I had no plans after graduation. Now, I’m still playing volleyball while pursuing my master’s and living in England. It proves anything is possible and anything can happen!
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