Four years gone, four years ahead

Phebe Chang, Staff Writer

Every student on Westmont’s campus came here with their own vision for how the next four formative years were going to look. Young freshmen athletes have high hopes for the next four years in their sport at the collegiate level, while seniors often look back at their growth during their time at Westmont. 

First-year Brynn Howard came into college with a variety of academic and athletic goals for her career as a soccer player and as a student.

Academically, Howard hopes to find something she is passionate about and can translate into a major. 

I am currently undeclared, but I am trying to trust the process that everything will work out. With my major and whatever I decide to study, I hope to set myself up for success in my future.”

Until something comes her way, she wants to spend her time making a deep and wide net of people that she will be able to count on. 

I would say my athletic goals for the next four years getting to play as a Westmont Warrior would be to just leave my mark.” 

Wanting to be more than just a player on the team’s roster, Howard sees herself as a “force to be reckoned with” both on and off the field. 

“Off the field, I want to be a great teammate and develop relationships with life-long best friends. I want to be someone my team knows they can trust and count on.” 

Not only that, but Howard hopes to follow in her older teammates’ footsteps and give incoming freshmen the same warm welcome she received when she first came onto the team. 

As new students step onto the hills of Westmont for the first time, others prepare to leave the ‘Mont to begin their adult journeys. Lauren Friis is a senior on the women’s volleyball team and has spent her time welcoming, training and building the team. 

“Being on the Westmont volleyball [team] for four years has been amazing. I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing coaches and teammates. I love the competitive and hard-working atmosphere and how we treat everyone like family.”

From her years of experience on the team, rather than hopes, Friis leaves some hard-earned advice for the incoming freshmen. She tells them to “give whatever your 100% looks like each day.”

“Each day is gonna look different and there will be good and bad days, but always bring whatever it is you have that day.”

She encourages freshmen athletes to treat every practice like it is their last. Going through a lot of Westmont’s natural disasters, Friis is no stranger to the uncertainty of having consistent practices.

“Treat every practice and every game like it is your last. Four years flies by so quickly, so do not take one day for granted, especially with COVID going on; we are praying we have a season!”

Away from the courts or fields, everyone can take a piece of Friis’s advice as well as the hopes Howard expresses. 

From Friis, students can understand the desire to make every moment count. From her father’s advice, “‘If you can look at yourself in the mirror every night before you go to sleep and you can say ‘I did the best that I could today,’ then you can go to sleep knowing you worked your hardest even if some things didn’t go your way!”

From Howard, we can see that there is nothing too small, or too big, to dream about. In everything that happens, having the desire to leave a mark is important to success. It is interesting to see a freshman’s aspirations for the future in comparison to a senior’s reflections of the past.