On this week's edition of Stormin' the Nest with AD Hall, women's lacrosse player Caroline Chamberlain, a sophomore from Stockbridge, talks about switching from soccer to lacrosse in high school and discusses what she loves most about being a Stormy Petrel.
Hall: Who is your favorite professor or what has been your favorite class experience here at Oglethorpe University?
Chamberlain: My favorite class experience so far has been the opportunity to sit outside under the tree in the quad for class. I think it’s really cool that we have opportunities like that where we can take the class outside instead of sitting in the traditional classroom. My favorite professor has been Geoffrey Adams, my Core 101 and 102 professor. He’s a lot of fun, and he tries to interact with the class. By being outside he tries to perform the text, so he really made it interesting.
Hall: What is your major?
Chamberlain: I am a human resource major.
Hall: Why do you enjoy being a Stormy Petrel?
Chamberlain: Oh, I love being a Stormy Petrel because there’s such a sense of pride. Many of my friends wanted to go to big schools and I chose a smaller school because I love the pride that I have in being able to say I attend Oglethorpe University. All the athletic events, such as basketball games, are so much fun, and there are more people that attend basketball games here than at my high school. We have so much pride and support for each other here at Oglethorpe. It’s also funny when I have people ask me what a Stormy Petrel is…I like it. We are different, and that adds a sense of uniqueness to who we are.
Hall: You somewhat touched on this in your last response, but what does the phrase "Give ‘Em the Bird" mean to you?
Chamberlain: I think it shows that we are not the underdogs that some people perceive us to be. Just because we are a small Division III school, I think people believe that anyone can be a part of our sports teams, and that is not always true. There is a lot of talent here at Oglethorpe University throughout all of our teams. Some of the athletes here could have gone to bigger schools, but we chose to be here for a reason. They didn’t want to be constrained by the Division I mentality. We chose to be students first and athletes second, but that doesn’t mean that we can be undermined by people thinking that we aren’t serious or good enough to play a collegiate sport. I think it means that we put everything we’ve got out on the field and play the game that we know and love.
Hall: What is the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned through playing the sport of lacrosse?
Chamberlain: It’s sounds cliché, but to just keep going. Don’t let go of your passions for playing sports. I didn’t really start playing lacrosse until later in high school. I never really imagined that I would be a college athlete playing lacrosse. You have to keep pushing through fatigue or a bad practice or performance, through the discouraging times. You just have to keep going, and put everything you’ve got out on the field. You cannot give up, it’s all about mind over matter. Life is as good as your mindset. In life, you just cannot give up or you will not make it very far.
Hall: What has been your most memorable sports moment?
Chamberlain: Well, I have two, I guess, I left my high school soccer team due to some team drama. Being on the soccer team just wasn’t for me anymore. So when my high school teacher came to me and asked me to join the lacrosse team, saying that they were just starting, that moment was very special for me because it led to where I am today. I thought that was pretty cool, and I never thought I’d be here, so the second most memorable moment was when [former Oglethorpe head coach Marissa] Giannerini emailed me about playing college lacrosse here at Oglethorpe. I never thought that only playing one year in high school would cause a college coach to scout me out to play. I was very excited to continue playing lacrosse, because I wasn’t ready to give up sports yet. I’ve been an athlete since I was five.
Hall: So you’ve touched on how you got involved in lacrosse, and that you started playing soccer at 5 years old…how did you get involved at such an early age in sports?
Chamberlain: I started in tap and ballet at a young age, and it really wasn’t for me. So my friend in kindergarten invited me to his soccer game, and I really enjoyed watching, and I immediately wanted to play soccer. I got involved and started playing in church leagues. Then I continued playing all those years until high school. With lacrosse, the calculus teacher scouted me out to play because of the similarities between soccer and lacrosse. We run a lot in both sports, so it was easy for me to transition into the new sport. I play midfield/attack and so I move a lot…I’ve heard something like five miles in a game is what we run. You have to have a lot of endurance in lacrosse.
Hall: Where is your favorite place on campus to hang out, or just chill and relax?
Chamberlain: There are these two trees near Traer where my friends and I set up our hammock and when it’s a nice sunny day, we hang them up and enjoy each other...we do homework, study, or just chit-chat and just enjoy the weather. On rainy days, I love hanging out in the café with my friends. You see everyone there. It’s nice being here at Oglethorpe because you’re always going to see a friendly face when you go out. You can always tell when someone doesn’t go here. We have a really strong sense of community.
Hall: You have a new coach this year, are there any motivational techniques that either coach you’ve experienced in your time here has used that has stuck with you?
Chamberlain: What I really like about Coach Block right now is that she says even though we’re small in numbers, we’re strong in heart. That goes for last year, too. We’ve struggled with numbers, but we always keep pushing, the team never gives up. We don’t point fingers at each other. We take it as a team, and we focus on what we need to fix. We are definitely strong in heart. We want to better ourselves not only in lacrosse this season, but for our program overall.
Keep checking back each week for a brand new edition of Stormin' the Nest with AD Hall. For a complete list of series installments, click here.