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Reporting to Campus: Being a Fall Athlete

Stella elaborates on what preseason as a fall athlete looks like.

Stella elaborates on what preseason as a fall athlete looks like.

As late summer begins to set in, it is one of the best times of the year: preseason. As a volleyball player, I come to campus earlier than other Carls. During the third week of August, members of the football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and volleyball teams start to trickle back to campus. It’s time for two-a-day practices, enormous amounts of team bonding, and not nearly enough sleep.

volleyball carleton sign
My team standing on the Carleton sign!


The structure of preseason can be divided into two parts. The first part is a little more intense, with your time dedicated only to the sport. While it does take a toll on your body, there is nothing more fun than getting to spend hours playing the game you love with your teammates. The second part of preseason starts when we get to move into our permanent housing for the year. New Student Week starts, freshmen arrive, and it’s a time to embrace the college experience without having to worry about school. Preseason is a great experience for athletes that brings us much closer as a community.

preseason media
Media day for the volleyball team

Athletics on Campus

About ¼ of students on Carleton’s campus are varsity athletes. While that does eat up a big chunk of our time, I run on the philosophy that volleyball is only one of my identities here. I am involved in many other things outside of athletics. But this blog post isn’t about that, it’s about my involvement specific to athletics. Athletics here is a little community within the larger Carleton community. Although it is not an exclusive community, athletes often end up collaborating in social gatherings and planning events. We also are very well known for our encouraging nature.

mens soccer champs
Photo from after the men’s soccer team won the MIAC this year

Supportive Environment

One of the ways that my fellow tour guides describes Carleton is as “aggressively supportive,” which is something I can’t deny. From going to orchestra concerts to academic presentations to sketch comedy performances, Carls are always ready to make sure those they love feel supported in their endeavors.

This isn’t any different when it comes to athletics. As I mentioned, during preseason the student population on campus is mostly fall athletes. Because of this, we develop great relationships with the other teams and from those we support each other in competition. If I am not playing a game or in practice myself, I make sure I am heading over to Bell Field to support soccer, the Arb for cross country, or Laird stadium for a football game. Athletics and all involvement at Carleton is something that students and faculty alike want to show support for.

soccer game
Girls watching a soccer scrimmage supporting our friends

Stella (she/her) is a rising Junior from Minneapolis, MN. She is a Political Science major with minors in SpanishNeuroscience, and Public Policy. Stella is a member of our varsity volleyball team and can explain at length how being an athlete is just one part of her identity at Carleton, not all of it. Around campus, you can find Stella having fun with her coworkers in Admissions, hammocking in the Arb (when it’s not cold), or hanging around in Sayles. She loves to explore the town of Northfield, and tries to find new places to visit as often as possible – especially for some good eats. Meet the other Bloggers!