Through the tunnel
By Celeste Simmons
Have you ever been on campus and seen the girl with the long, curly, dark brown hair? The one with the big welcoming smile always on her face? If you have than you probably already know who I’m talking about. Thainara Ramos, a psychology major, who’s a senior here at Kean.
Ramos, who is known by her friends as Tee, plays on the women’s lacrosse team here at Kean. Now you might be thinking that this is about to be another sports profile story about an athlete and how their season has been, but it’s not.
Ramos has a unique story; this is her first time ever playing lacrosse. She tried out for the team with no prior playing experience.
“Trying out for a sport that I’ve never played before at a college level has been the toughest thing I’ve had to encounter,” said Ramos. “It has been a physical, but mostly a mental challenge.”
This is not Ramos first college sport, she also played basketball at Kean her sophomore and junior years. After taking a year off from athletics, Ramos said she began to miss the team aspect of competition and that prompted her to try out for lacrosse.
“I’ve been an athlete all my life,” said Ramos. “The first sport I ever played was basketball, and from there I stayed with soccer and softball. I honestly can’t picture my life without sports.”
Ramos comes from comes from a very athletic family. “My father played soccer all his life and my mom played volleyball,” said Ramos. “My sister also plays a wide variety of sports so it’s definitely a competitive household.”
Stepping on to a field having never played the sport before would be scary for most, but trying out next to girls who have all played before would be downright nerve wracking. That wasn’t the case for Ramos, though. The girls have all been very welcoming and supportive to her since the beginning.
“I love everything lacrosse has taught me,” said Ramos. “I wouldn’t take anything back from this awesome experience.”
Ramos said that the team has a way of coming together even during hardships. One of the toughest parts for Ramos has been the physical aspect of the sport. She says the sport can really push you to your breaking point; to the point where your body can’t take it anymore.
“Tee has an amazing personality,” said Michael Cooper, a close friend of Ramos. “Always staying positive even when she can be broken, but she still manages to juggle her life while things are at it’s peak. An amazing all around woman.”
Ramos has tackled this experience head on. She’s a great example of the saying “it’s never too late to try something new.” She proves that you really can do anything if you set your mind to it.
“My athletic career at Kean has been an incredible experience,” said Ramos. “I wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through or any decision I’ve made. The lessons learned here will stick with me forever. I’m beyond happy that I’ve decided to play sports in college. I honestly don’t know what I would be doing with my time without sports.”