Grit: Perspective of a Student Athlete
A Guest Blog by Nemain Morgan-Curtis '23
At Agnes Scott, we offer six NCAA Division III sports competing in the Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS). The athletic department focuses on “development of a balance between intellectual engagement and an active lifestyle” with a focus on the “student” in student-athlete. In this guest post, four-year recruited athlete and senior Nemain Morgan-Curtis ‘23 discusses her experience as a student athlete and member of the ASC soccer team.
I have given sixteen years of my life to the game of soccer; four of those years I had the honor of wearing Agnes Scott College on my chest as I played. I cannot imagine my time at Agnes Scott without my time on the soccer team here. Coming from Nashville (TN), Decatur felt similar to home, but the transition to college can still be a difficult one. I am extremely grateful to have had the support of a team as I got settled and found my footing, on and off the field.
Being a student-athlete at the NCAA Division III level is often a misunderstood phenomenon. At Agnes Scott, there are six sports sponsored: soccer, cross-country, softball, volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Some student-athletes are recruited to play by the coaches, but many also just try-out once they arrive on campus to continue a sport they love. I have had in-state, out-of-state and even international students as teammates.
While student-athletes at Division III schools can receive merit-based scholarships like any other student, we do not receive athletic scholarships at the DIII level. We play our sport purely for the love of the game.
My first-year I overheard someone call the athletes here “jocks,” and it makes me laugh now because the athletes here are so much more than that. We are athletes that will be doctors, lawyers, researchers, artists, writers and so much more.
Additionally, through my time serving in executive leadership on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), I have a unique perspective on how important sport is to so many of our students, but also to the community. Sometimes people just need or want something to cheer for or be a part of, and our sports teams provide that. When students, faculty, staff, friends, and family come and fill up the hill on the soccer field, the stands, or the bleachers in the gym, it really does mean the world to us.
This past season, the soccer team finally got the opportunity to host a conference tournament game at Gellerstedt Field. After the hardships and adversity that we have faced over the past few years, this was an outstanding accomplishment. To be able to win that game, at home, with my team gave me a great sense of pride for the program that is continuing to build and grow. Being on any team is a journey, but getting to see the legacy that myself and my fellow seniors are leaving behind is a really special feeling.
In general, being a student-athlete helps to cultivate skills of time-management, communication, and perseverance. These are all instrumental skills in whatever we choose to do in our lives, and even for our time on campus. I have met so many wonderful people through my time involved in the Athletics Department at Agnes Scott. The community that athletics provides has been so supportive through the hardships of the pandemic, but also just life in general during the last four years. I could not have asked for better coaches or teammates to pick me up when I was down or cheer for my triumphs.
Gellerstedt Field and the Woodruff Athletics Building will forever hold some of the memories I will cherish the most from my time at Agnes Scott College. For me, it will forever be, Scotties on 3 — 1, 2, 3, SCOTTIES! #9 is out!