By:Aimee Bingham Osinski
Nina Faupel returned to Ann Arbor, this weekend, not to visit with family, but on the field hockey team of the Indiana Hoosiers. Nina plays goalie.
I wondered how it felt to play against U of M and if Nina ever imagined she’d be in that position.
“Growing up, a lot of my club coaches were either current or past Michigan field hockey players and I have practiced on Ocker field for the majority of my time playing for Pinnacle, so I have always aspired to play against Michigan on their field. It feels like a full circle moment since I made my decision to play Big 10 field hockey in college from watching Michigan games,” stated Faupel.
Adjusting to college is typically difficult and many freshmen realize they aren’t up for the task. I cannot imagine how challenging the adjustment is while being involved in a team sport. I asked Nina how she was adjusting to college. “I am adjusting to college pretty well, they weren’t kidding that balancing school work and training at this level would be a lot to manage. I’m lucky to have the leaders I do on my team for guidance.”
It must be difficult to manage a college athletic schedule while adjusting to college life. Have your teammates helped you adjust? “All of my teammates, but especially some of the older girls have been very helpful with this transition to college and to the division one level. They are all so supportive when it comes to school work, my social life, and pushing me to be the best athlete I can be.”
Even though college is a lot of fun and the life of a college athlete has to be very busy, I imagine every college student gets a little homesick at first. So I asked Nina what she missed most about home. “I miss my family a lot and my two dogs.”
At the risk of sounding like a cheesy pick, drive and p line, I asked Nina what she thought her major would be, I’ve known more than one young adult to change their mind. But Nina seems pretty certain. “I am a Political Science major and earning a certificate in Journalism.”
I asked Nina what her career aspirations are. She explained that she hopes to, “do work with a non-profit and organize for issues I care about, or go into a career with journalism.”
Usually, once people get to college, they have a chance to look at their hometowns a bit more objectively. What did Chelsea do well preparing you for college life? Any former teachers you’re particularly grateful for and why?
“Chelsea has prepared me academically to handle college classes, especially the teachers. As a Political Science major, my former history teacher Ms. Maines had really prepared me with world history knowledge and also helped me find my voice for issues I’m passionate about. At the end of my senior year, she gifted her seniors a coin representing self-determination and taking control of your life and I have that coin in my locker so that I can be reminded of the importance of my voice before I walk out on the pitch.”
I asked Nina what she hopes to accomplish in her career as a college athlete?
“The plan is to win a Big 10 Championship and leave Indiana a stronger program than before.”
I can’t predict the future but I can say with confidence, Nina Faupel’s poise, and determination is making her hometown very proud.