Emily Strombeck - Respect

Life as a pre-nursing student can be demanding and so can life as a student athlete. When you combine the two, it’s quite daunting.

“It’s a lot of work,” sophomore Emily Strombeck said. “It’s not as hard as I thought it was going to be but it is still pretty hard.”

Strombeck, 20, is a member of North Carolina A&T State University’s bowling team who has been working on her sport since she was 4 years old. She's also the recipient of the MEAC Rookie of the Year.

“Growing up I always looked at bowling as something I did on the weekends,” she said. “When I turned 16, I started getting more competitive.”

That is around the time she found out there were scholarships available for bowling and decided to get more serious. Shortly after, N.C. A&T came calling.

“A&T recruited me for my bowling scholarship. They took me around campus and showed me the new Academic Classroom Building and everything here,” she said. “I loved the campus because it wasn’t too big or too small.”

The university is also in close proximity to her hometown of Durham where her family still lives.

“My parents are really supportive of what I do and tell me I can do whatever I put my mind to,” she said.

If she gets accepted into the nursing program, her grueling schedule will only become more complicated as she adds more difficult classes and clinical studies.

“I know it’s going to be harder but school is always first,” she said. “I came here for higher education; bowling is a bonus. If I have to miss a few practices to focus on my school work, I’ll just have to do that.”

The bowling season runs October to March, straddling both semesters. To keep up with the demands of school work, Strombeck carries about 15 credit hours. The team practices daily and has workouts on Mondays and Wednesdays. The real challenge arises when the team has two- and three-day tournaments.

“When we get back, we have a lot of catching up to do,” Strombeck said.

Summer school also has helped to her stay on top of her studies. If she gets into the nursing program, those classes will begin this summer. While she is not yet sure of her nursing specialty, Strombeck is sure that her time as a student athlete has prepared her for a career in nursing.

“I am a leader on the team and that will help me be a leader in the nursing field,” she said. “I’m gaining leadership skills and learning to work with different personalities. You always have to find a way to make it work.”

Strombeck credits her fellow students and teachers for helping her learn how to make it work.

“There is always someone who is willing to help you,” she said. “No matter what, it’s always easy to make a friend on campus.”