I played volleyball all four years of high school, and that’s how I met all of my friends that became my staple group my four years there. Then my first year at Santa Clara I joined the D1 rowing team. Unfortunately, I am the clumsiest person I know and somehow managed to get a bulged disc half way through my first season. So rowing was out. I needed some sort of team sport in my life, because sports had always had been present. Note that I am a person of habit, such that I will read and reread books and watch movies over and over to the point that I accidentally memorize parts of them. I eat yogurt and strawberries everyday without fail (but don’t worry, I vary whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner - a girl’s gotta have a little variety every now and then). The way I connected with people in the past was always through sports, and, as a person of habit, I was unwilling to let that be one of the many things that changed when I went to college. So, Spring quarter of my sophomore year I joined my first real intramural team. (My first year I had been a floater player who just goes to whichever team needed a player that intramurals season. I recommend creating your own team, because being a floater is a little bit more socially stressful.)
Joining that team was the best thing I could have done for myself. I got to become a lot closer to the people I work with, which is how we formed the team, and every Sunday night I had something to look forward to. The nice thing about intramurals at Santa Clara is they are as much or as little of a time commitment as you want it to be. Games are once a week and the season spans almost the entire length of the quarter. Playoffs are single elimination so very few teams have a season that spans the whole quarter because by week 7 or 8 they have been eliminated. My team, though we tried our darnedest, was eliminated in sudden death for soccer. It is my way to let off steam every week and also get some physical activity, because if I am being completely honest with myself, I will not exercise on my own in an unstructured “Oh I should go to the gym today” sort of way. I get to see my friends who I might not see on a day to day basis every week at least once when we get on the soccer field, or on the volleyball court and play. College is a stressful time, and sometimes being social is a daunting task. I am and always have been an introvert. Yet, as soon as I am playing a sport I become outspoken and ready to be wherever I’m needed, probably because i’m very competitive, but regardless I am out there, talking to people I wouldn’t normally talk to, laughing afterwards about how I tripped on my shoelace and went down, or how I pulled a muscle and for all subsequent games skipped across the soccer field instead of ran. Some of my favorite memories at Santa Clara have been Intramurals related. My end of the year superlative was “Soccer Mom” because I loved my intramurals team so much that I brought capri suns at half time.
Intramurals relieve stress. They give you something to look forward to every week. They give you excuses to put off that paper because you committed to being there and you can’t let your team down. They are the best thing, second only to joining Ambassadors, that I have done for myself in my time at Santa Clara.