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Women's Basketball Blog: Kelsey Reynolds

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What's up Blue Demon fans?

This is Kelsey Reynolds reporting for duty.  It is hard to believe that it is almost August, but that just means we are one month closer to the start of season! If Coach Bruno were counting (and by were, I mean IS) he would tell you we are 14 weeks away from our first game of the year! If that is not exciting, I don't know what is.

Let's put the basketball talk aside for now and focus on the freshmen. The life of a freshman is one that fluctuates between excitement, nervousness, and being completely overwhelmed. Here at DePaul, we try to make the transition as easy as possible for the newbies so we keep the overwhelmed-ness to a minimum. 

One way we do this is by ensuring that their first CTA ride is not tackled alone. Last week was the first week of class and all the freshmen had a class downtown in the Loop.  As luck would have it, three of the freshmen and I had class downtown at the same time, so I got to be a part of their first train ride.

ShaKeya Graves, Meri Bennett-Swanson, Jessica January, and myself all met in the dorm and then headed to the train station together. Once at the station, we all had to buy a CTA card because we had not picked up our school UPASS yet. I pointed to the machines that we needed to use in order to buy a card. Meri headed towards the machine intended for credit cards and tried to force money into it. While Meri wrestled with her machine, ShaKeya and Jess tag-teamed to try and figure out how much money they needed to put in for a ride to and from class. I herded Meri away from the credit card machine and towards the other two freshmen. The three of them worked together to figure out how much it would cost and how to get the machines to "vend." I watched, gave some pointers, and then bought my own card. 

After conquering the CTA machines, it was time to take on the turnstiles. The freshmen approached the turnstile and examined their CTA cards, trying to figure out which way it was supposed to be inserted. Before going through, I briefed them on how the turnstile worked and they all gave it a go. It took various attempts for them to get the cards right, but in the end, they all made it through...whew!

The next step was to get to the platform. I tried to quiz them on which way we should head - Howard or 95th/Ashland? All I got was blank stares in return. No problem, I explained we were headed to the 95th/Ashland platform and that we would take Howard back. 

Once on the train, I pointed out which stops were for the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and other important destinations that they may want to explore during their four years here. They all nodded, eager to take it all in. At our final stop, we got off the train and walked to our respective classrooms. During the walk, we discussed getting back to Lincoln Park. The freshmen said they could manage getting back on their own because our classes wouldn't get out at the same time. I felt like a parent telling them to use the buddy system, don't leave anyone behind, head towards Howard, get off at the Fullerton stop, and call me if you need help! As we departed ways, I was amazed at how fast my little freshmen were growing up.

I'm not going to say the freshmen survived their first train trip; I am going to say they thrived (yes, this is a Bridesmaids reference). It is insane how quickly four years can go by and all the experiences that are packed into those years. The first CTA ride is just one of them. As a team, we cannot wait for the upcoming year and all the great things that are sure to come. Stay tuned, and see you all in the stands!

Go Blue Demons!
Kelsey Reynolds #20

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