- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 07 December 2016
- Written by CHRIS FITZSIMMONS | STAFF WRITER
Most division one student athletes could not imagine having another major commitment on their plate. Between class and practice, their days are filled to the brim as it is, the idea of adding in additional obligations would seem impossible to them, except for one.
Meet Mallory Kusakavitch, a junior health studies student and a forward on the field hockey team here at Monmouth. However, those are not the only two responsibilities that Kusakavitch has undertaken.
She is also a part of the Reserved Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), a program that guarantees graduates an officer role in their selected military branch.
Monmouth does not offer an ROTC program and thus Kusakavitch needs to make the trek up to Rutgers, where it is offered all the while balancing it with her other obligations.
Her days start at time where college students are still sound asleep and the sun has not even broken the morning sky.
“Typically I wake two times a week around 4:30 to get to Rutgers and then I am there until I have to leave to come back to practice which is at 1:00. So usually I am leaving Rutgers around 11:00 to make it here for practice,” Kusakavitch said. “After practice I have a 4:30 class every single day. I am rushing to Rutgers, practice, class and finally at 6:00 I can start work that I am behind on.”
Kusakavitch admits that none of this would be possible without her extensive support system. Her coaches, the ROTC program leaders, friends and family have made the journey as painless for her as possible.
“Without the support of everyone on my team and at the ROTC none of this would be possible,” Kusakavitch said. “Of course, a huge shout to my family and close friends who really keep me going.”
No matter how much support she receives from outside resources to make it an easier procedure, denying that this is a difficult process would be inaccurate. Kusakavitch did not want to play up the challenging aspects of her commitments, but she did offer this on the difficulties of the situation. “Half the battle is showing up. It is hard to get up early and it is hard finding motivation, but since I really want to do it and I am passionate about it, I just do it,” Kusakavitch said.
How does Kusakavitch stay motivated? She likes the idea of loading up her days full of activity. To her it is all about the experience and she plans on taking full advantage of all that is offered to her.
“It might sound weird but I like being busy,” Kusakavitch said. “I am motivated to do things and get the most out of my college experience that I can. It might not be a typical one but it is something that I think is special, and I keep on going.”
With such a jam-packed and hectic schedule, it is important that every once and a while Kusakavitch finds some time to have fun and relax. What does she do when the opportunity arises for her to get out?
“Whenever I get the time, after I do all my work and everything is set. I make sure I do something, usually I will go out to eat with friends or anything that will get the stress out and relax,” Kusakavitch said. “Usually this will happen every week, sometimes every two weeks.”
Wherever life takes Kusakavitch next she will be more than prepared to handle all that is asked of her. As of right now, she is not entirely sure what she wants to do in the Air Force as her aspirations are constantly fluctuating.
“I am not too sure yet, I previously was leaning towards flight nurse but I am changing,” Kusakavitch said. “I don’t know exactly what yet but whatever the Air Force needs I will be there.”
From the outside looking in, it can seem like an incredibly difficult undertaking. But Kusakavitch hopes to be an inspiration to anyone who is thinking of making a similar commitment.
“It is definitely possible. I know a lot of kids who see me in my uniform and say dang I wish I would have thought of this and I wish it was possible,” Kusakavitch said. “If you think it is possible it will work out. My coaches are always supportive, everyone at the ROTC is so helpful, and they are willing to bend their schedules to make it work with me. To anyone who is interested just try it! You don’t know until you try.”
PHOTO COURTESY of David Dermer