April 4, 2008

Getting to Know Silia DeFilippis '11

April 3, 2008

1. What has been your biggest adjustment since joining the Yale Tennis Team?
Fortunately, the girls and coaches have made my transition very smooth. One of the biggest adjustments has been balancing my previous commitments with my current commitments. This encompasses a few different things such as maintaining connections with my extra-curricular activities even when I may have to miss a meeting for practice, spending less time with friends when necessary, and balancing my schoolwork with tennis. I'm happy to say that I have found a healthy balance, in part, because my teammates, friends, and classmates are very supportive and appreciate that the Yale Tennis Team is an important part of my life.

2. How do you balance tennis and school?
It all comes down to time management. When you're both a dedicated student and a varsity athlete, time is very valuable since almost every minute is accounted for. As the week starts, I look at my tennis schedule and compare it with my work schedule to see if I have exams, papers, or matches that require certain adjustments. In addition, I plan out my daily schedule the night before to see which blocks of time I have available to do work. For instance, if I have a half hour between lift and my next class, I'll make sure that I get some reading done during that time. It's those small time slots here and there that make the difference. Each on its own doesn't seem like a lot of time but together you can get a lot more done than you would expect. This system has helped me a lot throughout this spring.

3. What is the best part about the tennis team?
I have two "best" parts, which goes against the definition of "best" but is true nonetheless.

First, the girls on the team are the best. We all get along really well; they're just great athletes and individuals. They have so much to offer. When I first started practicing with the team, they were extremely welcoming and wanted to make sure I felt comfortable. We just have so much fun together! We're always laughing and smiling. Although we spend so much time together, it's sometimes disappointing to head back to your room without them by your side even when you'll see them the next morning. Also, on the court they represent Yale well. They display great poise and sportsmanship and I am proud to call them my teammates.

Secondly, the opportunity to play for Yale is fantastic. It's a way to give back to all of the people that have helped me through my freshman year from my professors and peers to the dining hall staff. Furthermore, I get to be a part of a great tradition that is Yale Tennis and for that, I am especially grateful.

4. What is it like living on Old Campus?
I'm so glad I have the opportunity to live on Old Campus freshman year as opposed to living in my residential college. The environment fosters class bonding and unity. It's a center of activity on campus; I can never predict what I'll get to see that day. One day, during a snow storm, some freshmen transformed the Nathan Hale statue into the Statue of Liberty! I walk out of my entryway and get to see tour groups, people playing Frisbee, reading under a tree, or just enjoying themselves. It sets a positive tone for the rest of my day.

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