Freshman Settles in to College Life

July 11, 2011


Stepping onto a major college campus for the first time as a freshman can be daunting to some, but for Jamie Fletcher the transition seems to be going smoothly. Fletcher is one of seven freshmen joining the University of Kansas women’s soccer team for the 2011-12 season.

The Albuquerque, N.M., native said it has been a pretty easy first week on campus.

“Being an athlete, they (Kansas) do a lot of things for you,” Fletcher said. “Having an academic advisor like Howard (Graham), he makes scheduling a lot less of a headache.”

Fletcher comes from Del Norte High School where she helped lead her team to success. The accolade list runs long with Fletcher. She was named the New Mexico Player of the Year during her senior season and three of her four years (2008-10) with the Knights she was named team MVP.

If there is one thing she is still getting used to, it’s the early morning workouts. She said waking up at 6:30 a.m. is the biggest difference from high school.

Fletcher plans to major in film and media at Kansas and arrived on campus for the second summer session at KU, which began on July 5. Besides just enrolling in summer classes, she has already started off-season workouts with the rest of her freshmen class.

“Monday, Wednesday and Friday we lift and play a few pick-up games,” Fletcher explained. “Tuesdays and Thursdays are supposed to be running, but I’m not real sure what we do because this is my first week of it.”

Coming to Lawrence from the biggest city in New Mexico makes the transition a little easier for a true-freshman that is just stepping on campus. Many times freshmen athletes can be overwhelmed with a new living environment, but Fletcher seems to be fitting right in.

“I know my way around Wagnon and where all of my classes are because I’ve been going on runs, which helps me find out where places and things are,” Fletcher said. “It’s a big campus, but I’m learning.”

Fletcher comes from a family that isn’t a stranger to producing Division I athletes. Her uncle and godfather, James Kelsey, played water polo at UCLA and then went on to play for team USA in the Olympics. As for Fletcher, she has been actively involved in sports from a very young age.

“I started playing soccer when I was five, but didn’t really like it so I stopped and started playing baseball, but I’ve been playing since I was nine years old,” Fletcher said.

As the summer winds down and the soccer season approaches, Fletcher is wasting no time getting to know her teammates and surroundings. Building team chemistry early on will prove to be extremely beneficial for the newcomers.

“I’ve been doing everything with the other freshmen, so I know them pretty well,” she said.

Fletcher and the Jayhawks open their 2011 season versus Butler at home on Aug. 14.