Lee Hayman

Spring break

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Hollywood studios at Disney with the team. — Courtesy Lee Hayman

Every year The MV Times asks four recent high school graduates to write about their experiences during their first year after graduation. Lee Hayman is attending Denison University in Granville, Ohio. This is her fourth dispatch.

This past week I got to enjoy the wonderful experience of going on spring break with my entire lacrosse team. While the rest of campus was packing up to visit families or go to warmer places, my team was preparing for a week in Florida for three games at the National Training Center in Kissimmee. On the Friday night before we left, pretty much just our team and other athletes were left on campus, and my friends and I ran around our dorm screaming and packing and enjoying being the only ones around to cause trouble.

Being on this team has given me so much. My teammates have become the glue that holds me together and keeps me sane through nine-hour bus rides, 6 am practices, and the balancing act of school, lacrosse, and the ups and downs that come along with life in college. Getting to go to Florida was a treat, because we had seven days to worry about nothing but lacrosse, and trying to get as tan as possible, before returning to ever-cloudy Ohio. We went to Disney on one day of our trip, and my coach made me go on the Tower of Terror, a ride that drops you stories in seconds, despite my insane fear of heights! We cooked breakfast and went to the beach, and won our first two games before unfortunately losing our last one. One of my coach’s best qualities is turning the negatives of one game into the positives we capitalize on in the next. We’re taking everything we have learned and worked on this season, and moving forward with each game.

The best part of spring break was that my mom and my sister escaped from a snowstorm, were on the only flight out of Providence, and made it to my game. It was a small miracle. I’ve been way more homesick this semester, and it was the absolute best feeling to hug my family. Nothing beats a mom hug. My little sister got to hang with my team and meet all the people who have made Denison a second home, and I loved watching her laugh with them and fitting right in, and I imagined her with her teammates doing the same thing in just a few short years.

It sounds impossible, but there’s a little more than six weeks left in the semester. Six weeks, that’s it! Some of my classes are already giving out assignment sheets for our final projects, and I’m starting to pick out classes for next year, chose where I want to live on campus with my new roommate, and I even emailed the Study Abroad office today. I still sometimes forget that I’m a college student, let alone that in less than two months I will officially be done with my first year! I think that statement pretty much brings my dad to tears every time we talk about how fast the time is flying by. I have extremely mixed feelings about the time warp that seems to keep happening on campus. I can’t wait for this summer, for visiting friends in their hometowns, finally getting back to my little Island, and for being there for my little sister again. I never thought I’d miss waking up at the crack of dawn and driving her to school every day as much as I do.

I feel so lucky for all the help and love I have received to make the experience of my first year as enjoyable as it has been. I’m homesick at times, but I remember everyone at home who’s rooting for me to be doing my best out here in Ohio, in the classroom, on the field, and as a person. As our season is really picking up, I am looking forward to having my biggest fans — my parents — come to my games. My dad’s going to be watching me play in the same stadium he played in when he was my age, which is a pretty surreal thing I think about every time I take the field for a game.