Karter Haug's Player Diary

Oct. 29, 2007

Los Angeles; University of Southern California; college life; college classes; unknown friends; a new coach; 1,000 miles from home - All situations that are both exciting and nerve-wracking for a small-city girl transitioning to the big-city life.

I came to USC from out of state, and when I got here, I was more than just a little nervous. I didn't know what soccer preseason would entail or how difficult school would be, and it was difficult to say goodbye to my family and friends, and leave my house, room, and bed behind. At home, I felt comfortable and always knew what to expect. Here in Los Angeles things are definitely different... and I LOVE IT! After spending three months here, I can't imagine being anywhere else. I LOVE the people, the culture, the school, and especially our soccer team!

Coming in as a freshman everyone tells you what to expect, what to do first, and even what not to do. I could have talked and talked to the older girls on the team as well as my older friends in an attempt to get a feel for what college would be like, but not until I experienced it for myself did I truly realize that nothing beats the college experience. That's what makes it so wonderful!

I thought adjusting from high school life and workload to the new ways of doing things in college would be a 'piece of cake,' but I was sadly mistaken. Balancing soccer, school, and a social life was extremely challenging for the first month. It took a little while to adjust, but I think I've gotten the routine down and realized what it takes to succeed in all aspects of college. Sooner or later all of us freshmen find ourselves, it just takes time.

I have enjoyed getting to know the older girls and watching all of us grow as a TEAM. Most of the older girls have taken us freshmen under their wings, have steered us in the right direction, and have shown us the ropes. Some even feel like big sisters to me, which I so greatly appreciate and will remember when I eventually get the chance to be a role model to younger girls who come in the future. I think it's called paying it forward. It's always nice to have those one or two people that you can talk to, who will listen, and be your friend, especially because they know what we freshmen are going through.

One of the great things for me this year has been having at least one of my parents fly out for most of my games. It has really helped in the transition process and I love having them here to cheer me on. Importance of family ranks highly to me, and transitioning to a life on my own has been scary, but having them backing away little by little has made things easier. It is always hard letting go (especially for a small family girl like me), but in the end, learning to live on my own and becoming an individual adult will all be worth it (especially since my family is only a plane ride or phone call away to be there to back me up).

Now as we approach the last part of the season and head into the playoffs, I am incredibly excited because I know how much our team has improved, and how good we are when we all work together. The coaching staff is continually pushing us to become the best we can possibly be, growing as players and people, and constantly striving toward our goals and dreams. I live for competition and the 'BIG' games; therefore I am so ready and excited for this part of the season. If I could be anywhere at anytime, it would be on the soccer field. I just love playing the game! I'm so excited to see where this journey takes me and how this chapter (season) ends!

Fight On!

Karter Haug #11

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