NEAC Senior Spotlight: Danielle Chidsey, Keuka College

NEAC Senior Spotlight: Danielle Chidsey, Keuka College

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - Each week throughout the spring semester, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) will highlight a senior student-athlete from one of the conference's member institutions by asking each student-athlete to reflect on their collegiate career by sharing "A Letter to My Freshman Self." This week, we hear from Keuka College's Danielle Chidsey.

Name: Danielle Chidsey
Sport(s): Women's Lacrosse
Hometown: Penn Yan, N.Y.

Dear Danielle,

You wouldn't even believe how fast this time has gone by, what you thought would feel like forever has gone by in the blink of an eye. You dreaded having to go back to school for another four years and here you are wishing you could start all over again. You wouldn't believe the fun that you've had, the amazing relationships and memories that you've made. College at the beginning was just a stepping stone to your career and you never could have imagined how it would change your life. I'll let you know that you've made it, you did better than expected and you've grown more than you ever thought possible. You're just over a month out from graduation, have applied to graduate school, and doing everything you can to enjoy what little time you have left with your people. Believe it or not, you're hitting that crossroads that scares you the most and you're nowhere ready to give this life up.  Although you're doing well, as your time comes you've been reminiscing on your four years. In doing so, you've wished that you could give yourself some advice…

Don't laugh at the seniors when they tell you that it goes by in the blink of an eye.

In what seems like a lifetime when you just want to be done with school, turns into memories that you'll cherish forever. Of course, the school work and practices are rough, but the time spent with your teammates and friends makes it all worth every single hurdle that you climb being a college athlete. By the time senior year comes you’d do anything to sign up for another four years or at least have one more year of eligibility.

Treat every practice, game, bus ride, and overnight as if it were the last. 

What seems like such a small, minuscule part of your life will end up meaning the most to you. These are the moments that make the memories, the bonds, and the relationships that will mean more to you than you'll realize until it's your turn as a senior to look back on. Believe it or not, you'll miss the long bus rides, where you're exhausted from the game, or you're watching ridiculous bus movies. These are the moments that you'll want back.

Embrace every aspect of the game.

Don't just go through the motions of being a college athlete, let it teach you all the lessons that come along with life. Let it teach you the lessons that come with all of the losses you'll take, whether that's on the field, to your social life, or your sleep schedule. It'll teach you leadership, how to be a good leader in times where you don't feel like it and how to lead people when they feel they're defeated. As much of a pain as it may seem now, it'll teach you multitasking skills, and you'll actually wonder what to do with yourself when you don't have practice after class, or games on the weekend. Enjoy your wins and learn from your losses, and no matter what make the most of the time you have left.

Most importantly, you'll love college and all of the unexpected roads that it leads you down. Remember that your time as a college athlete isn't forever, pretty soon you'll be alumni and all of this will just be a memory. These are the best days of your life.

All the best,

Your grown-up self

To learn more about Keuka College and Wolves athletics, visit keukathletics.com.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.