Our Senior Staff Writer, Chris Girandola, caught up with Charlisa Jenkins, Farragut class of 2015 and Gardner-Webb University (Boiling Springs, N.C.) basketball student-athlete. Learn about how college is going for Charlisa and how Farragut helped prepare her for today.
What was the first year of college like?
It was an incredible learning experience. I definitely matured a lot. You learn how to be independent and you learn a whole new set of life skills, especially as a college athlete. You have to be good at time management but that was one of the good things about Farragut, in how it is so structured. It gets you ready for the college life.
Have you decided on a major?
Yes, I am majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.
Even though you just finished your freshman year, do you know what you might want to do with your major once you graduate?
Help out in the community back home (in St. Petersburg) in some way. I still have three years to go, though. I might even attend graduate school.
With a campus size of 240 acres and an enrollment of approximately 2,700 students, it seems like a larger scaled version of Farragut. How did the Farragut environment of walking to and from class across campus help prepare you for life in college?
It wasn’t much different, except maybe just a littler farther to get to each class, but I was used to the whole walking from class to class and back to the dorm or to the gym.
What are you doing for the summer?
I am taking summer school classes at Gardner-Webb. I also worked as a counselor for our university basketball camps. When summer school ends, I am going to visit my brother (Rayshawn Jenkins, Farragut ’12, who is beginning his senior season on the Miami Hurricanes football team).
As far as being a college athlete, what were the most difficult aspects?
It’s just so much more intense than in high school. The pre-season and in-season workouts are much tougher. Six times a week in pre-season and five times a week during the season. I also had to run three miles in 30 minutes, which I did – in 28 minutes, thank you very much. The games are also fast-paced. And every single player has incredible talent.
What were the biggest learning lessons of your freshman year as a basketball player? (Charlisa averaged 1.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game over 26 contests during the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ 19-12 season. She scored a season-high 11 points in 13 minutes against Montreat.)
Just getting to see how college athletes prepare and compete. It was a big learning year for me and I definitely matured as a person and an athlete. The biggest part was appreciating and respecting the process.
Did Farragut help prepare you for the adversity?
Did you take any fun trips?
Yes, we went to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Classic. We are going to Chicago this upcoming season. I’ve never been to Chicago nor Puerto Rico so it’s another great aspect of being a college athlete.
Finally, what about the snow? I heard it snowed a lot this year in North Carolina.
Yes. It did. It was the first time I had ever seen snow, let alone see it falling from the sky. It was amazing. I was so excited.