Averee Gerold carries a big stick—but not all the time. She’s a lacrosse player. Her success in the sport in high school led to her being recruited for Longwood’s Division I lacrosse team.

Averee is a graduate of Ashley High School, where her favorite classes were nursing fundamentals and art. She was also involved in EC Buddies, Wings club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes there.

A kinesiology major, Averee will no doubt be able to bring her experience recovering from an ACL injury this summer into her future career. She also loves new experiences, so she’s in her element as a freshman at Longwood doing things she’s never done before. Although she could get some tips about what to expect from her first cousin and her cousin’s husband, who both graduated from Longwood in 2009.

Here are some random interesting facts from Averee about herself:

  1. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
  2. I love going to the beach with family and friends.
  3. I like to draw people.

Staying Healthy and Fit in College

Longwood’s Fitness Center offers lots of options for staying in shape, including classes, a climbing wall, cardio and weight-training equipment, and an indoor jogging track.

Being a student in college you have to really be mindful of how you eat and when to get your physical activity in. Sometimes you don’t have the time to make food, eat healthy or even make time to go to the gym to work out.

For me, with lacrosse, we are expected to work out every day even if we don’t have practice. We have weight training three times a week in Iler Hall, which is the athletes’ weight-training facility, but there is also the rec center to get in extra work.

All student-athletes here are required to do weight training and practice on and off season.

If you don’t play a sport, the rec center has so many options to make working out fun!

There are also trails around where you can bike and run, like the High Bridge Trail, or even around campus.

All in all, Longwood is a great place to focus on academics while having a good balance with bettering yourself in a healthy way!

Longwood’s Fitness Center offers lots of options for staying in shape, including classes, a climbing wall, cardio and weight-training equipment, and an indoor jogging track.

Student-Athletes Support Each Other

Go team! Averee and her fellow lacrosse players with their new Longwood scarves.

After being here for a little over a month, Longwood feels like home.

The people I surround myself with make it so much more fun and enjoyable because you’re never really all alone. Being a part of the women’s lacrosse team gives me an opportunity to meet so many new people, and I get along with them so well.

As you know, the Longwood community is small. All of the activities are a lot of fun, but it is all about what you make of it—such as the athletics events. My suitemates are field hockey players, so you will see me watching most of  their home games. Before I came here, I had never gone to a field hockey game because they didn’t have it where I lived. It was a thrill to watch! The soccer games are also a lot of fun to watch, and basketball season is approaching as well. There’s always a sport going on throughout the year.

The best part about it is that you see all the athletes around, and everyone knows each other. You go to everyone else’s games, and they end up coming to yours. You always want a crowd watching your game for spirit, so it is really nice to support each other and cheer on our school!

I can’t wait for spring to come around for our season so everyone can come out and watch!

Lacrosse practice somewhere over the rainbow.
Lacrosse practice somewhere over the rainbow.

College and High-School Classes: A Comparison

Classes in general are more enjoyable in college than high school.

The best part about them is that you can have a break between classes and get other things done rather than sit in multiple classrooms in a seven-hour span. Although college classes may be more difficult, the challenge is nice because you can accomplish so much more and take what you learn and turn it into something that you may do in the future.

Some differences between the two environments: The professors are not as lenient in college, and you have to get everything done that is asked and turned in on time. In high school, teachers were more tolerant with assignments and let you turn in things later without punishment. Also, in college an abundant amount of classwork and homework is done on the computer. It is very important to keep track of your responsibilities and agendas, especially if you have extracurricular activities.

There are not many similarities, as I have found. College life is so much different. You are on your own with everything, but it is not too bad. I was told to not take high-school habits with me into college, and that was the most useful piece of advice that I was given.

I am still learning and getting the hang of things quickly.

My First Week at a Glance

Averee (right) and her roommate, Kylie

As a student-athlete, you’re expected to rise above and excel in everything you do. I believe I have accomplished that so far in high school and my first week at Longwood. However, some athletes have difficult obstacles to overcome sometimes—like me. I tore my ACL my senior season in high school, and I’m still going through physical therapy because I am only three months postsurgery. So I can’t participate yet, but I will be fully recovered before the spring. It has been moderately difficult getting around, but that’s what the golf carts are for!

I have a huge support system with my amazing family, lacrosse team and my coaches, so I don’t really think about my injury much, which is great! We start preseason next week, kicking it off at 6:30 a.m. with run tests and a lot of stick work for me :).

So far this week it has been busy, constantly on the move, going from one activity to another with the Honors College and then New Lancer Days.

Farmville may be a small town, but there is a lot to do on and off campus. My favorite thing is how Farmville has so many good places to eat and dine in at. I strongly encourage Macado’s, Charley’s and One19.

Yes, you may be thinking that balancing Honors College, lacrosse and even regular classes will be very time-consuming, but I think it will be fun and because, Why not? College is all about experiences, and, as you will learn, I love doing new things.

I have not been homesick because this does feel like home to me even though I am almost five hours away (right on the East Coast by Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina). But love grows with distance, right?

As it is very obvious, I am so excited to start my freshman year here as a student-athlete!

It’s All New to Me

My name is Averee Gerold, and I am going to share with you my freshman experience at Longwood University.

First off, I am very new to this, so bear with me. I am freshman, Class of 2022, playing lacrosse at Longwood. As I’ve learned, being a student-athlete is very demanding, but it’s also a great opportunity to get close to new people and cultivate relationships. Starting back at the bottom as a freshman to me is very intimidating, but it encourages me to build my confidence and take on new adventures.

Before enrolling, I visited Longwood many times for sports clinics, camps and personal tours, and I have never felt more at home.

I recently experienced orientation. I met new people and was welcomed with positive energy from returning students. I could see my future as a Lancer right before. Yes, some people will say that orientation can be boring. But to me, I had the chance to see what I can accomplish and the future courses I will be taking.

The most memorable experience at orientation was hanging out with my future teammates and learning to take on the college life. Finding our way around was strenuous, but we managed. I am most excited about the first week of college and being welcomed with energy just as positive as I experienced at orientation.

The hardest part of college for me will be leaving home. I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, right on the East Coast about 10 minutes from the beach. I have developed so much in my hometown by learning who I am and what my interests are, building my closest personal relationships and being so close to my family.

With that said, I believe I can build the same characteristics here at Longwood. Being able to finally do things on my own takes courage and a great attitude. I am very eager to find out what is in store for me and my peers.

#GOWOOD