I have recently become friends with two amazing girls. It was an unexpected friendship given the fact that they are from the other side of the country. Katy and Clara are both international athletes that came to NAU to swim. I became friends with them because of my best friend, Abbie, who I have known since I was 4 also swims for the NAU swim team. Katy is from Scotland and Clara is from New Zealand. I am so blessed that these two amazing girls came into my life because I have made friendships with them that will last a lifetime. I love hanging out with them and getting to know them better as people. I would have never met them if they weren’t so brave to travel across the country to further their swimming careers. It is so inspiring to me that they would drop everything to do the thing that they love most, swim and compete at a higher level.
I learned through talking to them about how they got here and how they made this decision. Katy said she went through an agency who sent emails to different schools in the US and then she visited those schools. Clara on the other hand, had her mom help her send emails to coaches in the US and then they went from there. They both said that there is a massive difference between the United States and their country. Katy said that the US is a lot more team based than individual based. She said that in Scotland everyone is only swimming for themselves. Katy likes that at NAU she feels part of team. Clara said that universities in New Zealand didn’t even have actual sport teams. They only had club sports. This really surprised me because I have always associated the “next level” of sports as NCAA sports and for other countries to not even have organized NCAA or NAIA sports blew my mind. They said it was hard to leave their families, but it is worth it so far. They both love swimming for the team and Flagstaff itself. I am so grateful that they made this decision because now I can call them my friends. We took them back to California with us and now hopefully we will be able to go to Scotland and New Zealand someday.
Katy, Me, Abbie, Clara Katy and Me
College is a time for making new friends, finding yourself, new challenges, and trying new things. College is a great place to make new friends but this also involves everyone. My friendships with Katy and Clara were so unexpected and I am so glad that I didn’t push them away and I let them become part of my life. Friendships can come from numerous different places such as athletic teams, through friends of friends, college, and now social media. I recommend that you give every friendship a chance because you don’t know what can come from it. I personally am so glad because I have two new friends that I will love and keep in touch with my whole life. I can’t wait for more adventures and memories that I will make with them. I learn new things about them and where they come from everyday and they learn things about us everyday. I am so blessed to have these amazing girls in my life. Don’t be surprised when you find new friends in unexpected places because thats what life is.