Welcome to our 5 Things I Learned blog series, where UNH students from all colleges and majors share the UNH experience that changed everything for them and what they learned from it. From studying abroad and summer internships, to research and leadership in student organizations, follow along to see what you can learn by stepping out of your comfort zone and saying "yes" to that new opportunity on our campus.
Today, Elle Doucette talks about joining the UNH Club Tennis Team and becoming a team captain. Elle learned the benefit of trying out for a team, even if it seems intimidating at first, and found that a club sport can teach you leadership and time management practice, while introducing you to a whole new social circle!
Photo credit: @m0dern_machiavelli
1. Trying new things
Coming to UNH as a transfer student, it was intimidating to join clubs when I had no friends by my side during the process. Even though I was scared, I tried out for the club tennis team and was offered a spot. Before making the team, I met girls during tryouts that quickly became my friends. Tennis gave me so many people that have become some of my closest friends. I am so grateful that I took an opportunity to play club tennis, even though it was scary at first.
2. Being a leader
After my first season on UNH Club Tennis, I wanted to become one of the captains of the team. I ended up getting the role of captain after I did an interview with the current team captains. This year, as the new season began, I learned a lot about what being a captain entails. I have many responsibilities as one of the captains, but I still have to be a teammate and encourage everyone to work hard. Being a captain is teaching me how to be a leader, motivate others and take care of important tasks.
3. Time management
In order to be a part of a club tennis team, I had to make sure I managed my time well. I quickly found a balance of doing homework and studying with playing tennis with my teammates. It can be stressful thinking about managing all the work of college with clubs and extracurriculars, but it was important for me to be a part of a team when I’ve grown up playing sports my whole life.
I have learned how to communicate through my experience as a teammate and captain of UNH Club Tennis. It is important to effectively share ideas with the team, because we spend time putting together social media sites and emails, so we have to make sure everyone is informed of the schedule and any important information as well. Therefore, whenever I have an idea, I need to talk with the other captains about it and listen to their ideas. Communication is always something that I want to work on, because it is a skill that everyone needs when they get a job.
5. Expanding my social circle
UNH Club Tennis has given me the opportunity to interact with people that I might not have known if it weren’t for tennis. Through the practices, team dinners and drives to the matches, I have had a lot of fun memories with my teammates. I am so grateful that joining a club team has given me so many friends and experiences. I would have never thought that it would be so easy to make friends after being a transfer student, but club tennis forced me to expand my social circle and I am so glad that it did. This is a great life lesson to me, as I know there will be other new opportunities for me and I will need to embrace the journey.
Today we travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota with Nate Maybach ’25, a dual major in sustainability and women's and gender studies. From training with a collegiate cross-country ski training program, to working a Sustainability Fellowship, follow along on this day in Minnesota! read more about nate