Marquette, MI – 11/24/2019 – Erin Honkala sat down with me this week to discuss what it’s like being a student athlete on the girl’s basketball team at Northern Michigan University. Erin is a senior at NMU majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Communications. With the NMU Girl’s Basketball season just starting, I thought it would be a great idea to talk to a senior on the team about her time at NMU and what her experience with being a student athlete was like.
Why did you choose NMU?
I came up here and I really liked the girls, and the atmosphere. The coaching staff made me feel at home, even though I was far from home, they felt like a second family.
What is your least favorite part about being a student athlete?
Definitely when we leave on Wednesdays and come back late Saturday or Sunday, we miss a lot of class. Most of our professors are really helpful and are able to help us with what we miss. The hardest is missing that in class lecture and the experience that everyone else gets.
What are the positives about being a student athlete?
The culture that we get put in, and the community. I realized that a lot of the community backs us 100%, and they’re always coming to our games and supporting us. Being able to have another voice in the school that we can reach others through athletics is a plus as well.
What opportunities have you received from being a student athlete?
When it comes to applying for jobs, it’s a huge thing. A lot of people don’t realize how good it looks. It takes a lot of time to be involved in athletics and employers know that. Also being able to work with the community, and meeting a lot of other athletes and non-athletes on campus.
Does the NMU Women’s Basketball team do anything in the community as far as volunteering?
For volunteer work we always do Make a Difference Day. We go to different sporting events, we go to Marquette High school, and Father Lutheran Academy and we go and support those girls. We also work through different groups in the school. We’re working with Marquette Ending Hunger this year to give them another branch to reach out with.
What has your biggest accomplishment as a student athlete been? (team and individual)
As a team, last year going to the NCAA tournament. Myself, is being able to keep my grades to a high standard, making it all the way to senior year, and being able to graduate in May.
Any advice to incoming freshmen?
Get out there, and volunteer a lot. Get to know the student body. Find some really good friends and just enjoy your time while you’re here.
If you are thinking about doing athletics while pursuing a college career, I hope this interview answered any questions you might’ve had. I was fortunate to meet Erin through classes we’ve had together so far at NMU. She is an outstanding athlete with an amazing personality to match. The NMU Women’s Basketball team currently has a record of 3-3 with many more game to go. Check out there schedule here, and go support NMU Athletics.
Check out this link to read some of my past interviews.