If I’m there, I’m going to put 110% effort in, and we’ll see what happens. My mindset is, we’re already here, we might as well make the most of it.
For Julia Miele ‘22, success as a student-athlete isn’t only measured on the scoreboard.
A three-sport athlete in high school, Miele decided to focus on lacrosse when she enrolled at Fitchburg State to study early childhood education. “I had built so many friendships in that sport,” she said. “I knew I would already have people beside me through lacrosse.”
That prediction came to pass. Miele found a strong rapport with her teammates, along with a meaningful foundation upon which she could build a schedule that allowed athletic as well as academic success.
“I wouldn’t give up that structure to my day,” she said, recalling a disciplined balance of time at the gym and in practice, as well as hitting the books.
Miele has been a standout contributor to the team, through which she has forged friendships she is sure will transcend her final season on the field. The women have been through a lot together, including the disruption of COVID that prematurely scuttled what was shaping up to be a winning season.
“We were all sad together,” she said. “It was rough.”
The team moved forward during the COVID-shortened 2021 season, but was limited to opponents within the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. It was a rough stretch of games and a disappointing record at the end of the season. Still, Miele said, the team had a camaraderie that helped them push forward.
“We tried to make the best of it,” she said. “If I’m there, I’m going to put 110% effort in, and we’ll see what happens. My mindset is, we’re already here, we might as well make the most of it.”
That approach transcended the playing field, she said, and fueled her to succeed in her studies despite the pandemic’s disruptions to the traditional learning model.
“It’s about being committed to something, no matter what,” she said. “I refused to quit. That’s never even been a thought in my mind. When my playing time at Fitchburg State is done, I’m going to look back at my friendships.”
This story was originally published in the Spring 2022 edition of Contact magazine.