Being involved in collegiate athletics is a lot for a student to handle, but for some, competition just isn’t enough.
Being active physically as well as being active on campus is one of Kaitlyn West’s many attributes.
Senior and Libero Kaitlyn West played for the Keene State Women’s volleyball team for her sophomore, junior and senior years.
After not being offered a position on the team during her first year, West continued to practice and stay in shape as the 2016 season loomed around the corner. She was then offered a spot on the roster.
“I got back into the weight room and trained for the spring season, never once losing the drive that I came into school with. I had to do the whole tryout process again like the year prior, and ended up making the team,” said West.
West continued to say that Keene State volleyball was, “One of [my] greatest accomplishments.”
“Keene State volleyball has been the most amazing experience as an Owl. It has brought me a whole new family of teammates, and many fun memories. This senior year season was definitely one to remember,” said West, as she reflects on her final days of collegiate volleyball.
Senior and captain Niamh Dodd expressed admiration for her teammate.
“She is a hard worker and has worked so hard to be one of the most important players we have on our team. She really makes you want to work just as hard because she is a great role model and makes working hard fun,” said Dodd.
Volleyball is a big part of Kaitlyn West, but it’s not all she is.
She continued to be a part of the Keene State community by branching into different areas, including the Garden Club.
While most students may find the multiple responsibilities intimidating or overwhelming, West says that multiple activities help her manage time: “I actually find that it helps me manage my time better because I know I need to get things done (school work and other chores) while I have that limited time available to do so. The activities I do on campus help me clear my mind and destress so I can manage my time better and get things done! This was something that I have gotten better at throughout the years, and have learned to balance.”
Dodd agrees with West that time management can be “challenging and hard.”
“It’s hard, but you have to look at it from a ‘once in a lifetime” perspective. We were both given the amazing experience to play volleyball, but at the same time we need to branch out into other things,” Dodd said.
West said that the Garden Club not only helps her “unwind and focus on other things” but that she actually enjoys “watching plants grow.”
“My dad owns his own landscaping company in my hometown (Hopkinton, MA), where Iʼve worked on-and-off since sixth grade doing small jobs, planting trees and doing some gardening construction. I find gardening to be extremely therapeutic, and I look at it as my kind of green therapy,” said West.
After attending meetings since her first year and helping design the permaculture garden in the Science Center courtyard, West is now the acting President of the Garden Club.
“I know that what weʼre doing is good for us, the school, and for the environment, which drives me to keep planning projects and getting more people in the club involved,” said West.
On top of Volleyball, the Garden Club, school work, and a social life, West has also volunteered herself as a practice player for the Women’s Basketball team.
West will join the the 2018-2019 roster during their morning practices at 5:30 a.m. to help the team run plays and scrimmage.
“They tend to be down players sometimes with small injuries, and with a smaller team, they might need [a] few more numbers. Iʼve been playing basketball since I could walk and was originally trying to play in college, so I figured, why not? It will be a good way to stay in shape,” said West.
While West still wishes there were “more hours in the day,” she is continuing to branch out into all her passions.
Cailla Prisco can be contacted