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In the Boat with Joanna Mulvey

Apr 10, 2013, 8:17 PM EST

I’m back again to introduce you all to another member of the Notre Dame rowing team. This week, you’ll get to meet Joanna Mulvey, a freshman from Staatsburg, N.Y. Joanna has been going through the same period of adjustment and transition that we all went through freshman year, in addition to being on a sports team. Through my interview below, you will be able to see how she has dealt with collegiate life so far and how much she enjoys being at Notre Dame.

So you are a freshman. How are you enjoying the ND experience so far?

I’m really loving it here. I especially love being on a team. It’s given me a chance to meet a lot of great people and get really close with everyone.

Is it different from what you expected?

Yeah it really is. You know how everyone says Notre Dame is like this close family? Well, it really is like that. I got here and I was like, “Oh, they were serious about that.” And you know, college in general is different from I expected.

How so?

You know it’s going to be hard, but you don’t realize exactly how hard it’s going to be until you get here. Especially academics wise. There’s a lot more independence involved than in high school and it took some time to get adjusted to.

What is your major?

Mechanical engineering. It sounds hard, and it is, but we have a lot of academic support. We have advisors and tutors that are all here to help us and make sure we succeed.

What dorm do you live in?

Cavanaugh.

Do you like it?

Yeah, I love Cavanaugh. I got the chance to go to the SYRs and snowball dances. They were really fun.

Has rowing made the transition harder or easier?

Definitely easier. It’s time-consuming, but worth it because when I got here, I automatically had a group of people to hang out with that I could identify with.

What type of boat are you in?

I’m in an 8+.

Is that different than what you are used to?

Well, in high school we did a lot of 4+ boats because we didn’t have a ton of people and it was easier to find 5 rowers that worked well together verses of 9. But in the summer, I rowed in some 8+ boats and they are a lot of fun. They allow you to go fast and it’s been a cool experience.

What is your favorite thing about being on a sports team?

Like I said earlier, I love that it allowed me to meet so many people and immediately gave me a group of friends that I had something in common with. There’s really no bond like being on a sports team. It’s an amazing thing. Also, if I did not row, I probably would not have become friends with all the people who I am friends with because we are all in different majors and live in different dorms.

How are you enjoying competition so far?

I’m really enjoying racing against other collegiate athletes. Everyone is very competitive and has so much school spirit. It’s a really pure type of competition and I love it.

Do you guys have any crazy rituals before practices or races?

Not that I know of yet! But then again something might come up later on in the season, but right now it’s all pretty chill. You’d have to ask me at the end of the season and I’d definitely be able to tell you!

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