Over the next month, members of the Florida lacrosse team will share their thoughts, experiences and memories as they transition from being high school seniors to freshmen student-athletes.

My name is Olivia Cole and I am a freshman goalie on the lacrosse team here at UF and will be wearing No. 35 next season. I am originally from Alexandria, Virginia, which is right outside Washington, D.C.
Over the next month, the other freshmen and I, who are in Gainesville early for Summer B, will share our experiences as freshmen student-athletes at the University of Florida.

Attending orientation on the first day and hearing Athletics Director Jeremy Foley speak was the moment that everything set in for me. I thought to myself, “I am a University of Florida student-athlete.”
It means a lot to be to be officially a member of THE Gator Nation and to be a part of the best athletic program in the country. Orientation week was a long week for all six of us; it was filled with meetings, appointments and a physical. Everyone on the OSL staff was so great helping us get to the right place at the right time.

After that week was over we started classes and strength and conditioning workouts with Miguel. Even after about three weeks with him, I can see a difference in how fast and strong I am.
The hardest part of everything for me is getting up at 6:30 a.m. during the week, going to class, then tutoring, homework and studying at OSL and going to bed at 11pm. It’s been very hard with time management because you have to know when you have tutoring and when you should be doing homework.
It’s also been hard because I am 800 miles from home, and I’ve never been this far away from home alone. I am homesick, but I talk to my mom, dad and sister almost daily and they remind me that they are proud of me, and that I am down here early preparing to help win the program’s first-ever national
championship.

Last weekend (July 10-12), CeCe Finney, Isabella (Bella) O’Connor and I traveled up to Baltimore, Maryland, to play in the Under Armour All-American Senior Lacrosse game.
The event that Under Armour put on was amazing; it was one of the best experiences that I have ever had playing lacrosse.

The game featured the best 44 girls in the nation, and it was such an honor being selected to play in the game. The game featured two teams North vs. South. CeCe and I played on the South team while Bella, Allie Pavinelli, and Shayna Pirreca (also part of the Gators’ freshmen class) were on the North team.
The North ended up winning 18-11 and Shayna got the well-deserved MVP. It was an amazing weekend getting to know Shayna and Allie better and playing against them. I can’t wait for them to get down here and being able to work towards winning the BIG EAST and National Championship.
2015 is going to be OUR YEAR!! Go Gators!!!