The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Wesleyan's Victoria Yu, a women's tennis student-athlete who is a doubles national champion and credits being a student-athlete with helping her learn about leadership.
Victoria Yu, Wesleyan University
Senior, Women's Tennis
New Braunfels, Texas/Canyon High School
Major: Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Why did you choose to attend Wesleyan?
Throughout the recruiting process, I established a strong relationship with Coach Fried, both as a coach and as a person. Beyond that, the people on the team and the culture they created made me want to be a part of it. This coupled with the strong academics of the university made it an obvious choice.
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
The main reason I chose Division III was the balance and flexibility between academics and athletics. It gave me the opportunity to attend a top academic institution while also continuing to compete at the highest national level in tennis.
What are some differences between where you are from and your campus?
Growing up in Texas, I have gotten used to the three-digit temperatures, so the cold weather and snow have a been a pretty serious change. And because the Wesleyan campus is small, it is very different that I am able to walk everywhere.
What has been the greatest part of your college experience so far?: The greatest part(s) of my college experience so far (besides building lifelong friendships) is being a part of the tennis team, getting to compete at NCAAs with them, and winning the NCAA Doubles Championship with my teammate my sophomore year.
What are three top things on your bucket list?
1.) Go skydiving
2.) Become fluent in French
3.) Learn to surf
What has been your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
My favorite class outside of my major has to be the astronomy class that I am currently taking, Exploring the Cosmos. The concepts and facts we are learning about the universe and everything in it is unfathomable, yet it is always around us. The time scale and size scale absolutely blows my mind. Also it is the polar opposite of what I've been studying like atoms and objects on the molecular level.
Who is your favorite professor? Why?
My favorite professor here at Wesleyan is Professor Brian Northrop. He is so enthusiastic about what he teaches and passionate about helping us learn and understand. I have taken several classes with him, and each one has been memorable.
What has been the most interesting part of your major so far?
Being a chemistry major at Wesleyan has allowed me to partake in, and now lead, a student forum course called "The Science & Art of Chemical Demonstrations". This course culminates in performances for the student body and prospective students which involve entertaining demonstrations and a lot of fire, among other things.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
One of the greatest lessons I've learned as a student-athlete is leadership. The transition from being a first-year who sometimes lacked focus and motivation, to being the captain has involved a lot of growth on my part. I have had to learn how to stand up for the right thing for the team, even if it isn't the easiest choice. I've also learned the great importance of leading by example. These are skills that can be transferred to the classroom and other aspects of my life as well.
What is your favorite place on your campus and why?
My favorite place on campus is Weshop. It is an on-campus grocery/convenience store. They have almost everything you can imagine (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not by much). Sometimes I just go in there to wander and browse, and I am sure most other students do this as well. It's just a fun space to spend some time...and some points.