Meet Our Student Athletes - Krysten Estrada - Teamwork is a Transferable Skill
Major: Rehabilitation Sciences
Are you a first-generation college student? If so, please share with us why you were inspired to go to college and why you picked UTEP.
I am not a first-generation college student; both of my parents attended UTEP. I chose UTEP because I wanted to be close to home and represent my community while also obtaining a degree from a very good university.
How long have you been playing your sport? What sparked your interest in it?
I have been playing softball since I was four years old. My interest came from my father, who played baseball. Watching him play inspired me to follow in his footsteps and become a college athlete. My fondest father-daughter memories are on a softball field, and I think that’s the most special part about this sport for me. My family is also full of retired softball players, two of whom continued their careers at the collegiate level.
What do you feel are the greatest challenges in being a student athlete? How have you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I faced being a student athlete was not giving myself enough credit for the work I put in. I feel that this is a common challenge most people face because as humans, we always want to be the best and never settle for anything other than our best. I tended to talk very negatively about myself, and was just extremely hard on myself in general. Whether it was school work or practice, I never felt satisfied with what I did. I was able to overcome this with some help from my teammates. Their positive energy and words have made a huge impact on how I view myself and the work I put in. It’s just nice to have that reassurance and validation from the people you trust and admire the most.
How do you manage your time?
Time management hasn’t always been a strength of mine; it’s definitely been a work in progress. The way I manage my time is through lots of planners and reminders. I have three separate planners—one for school, one for practice and weights, and one for travel. Writing out my schedule just helps me prepare for the week and lets me know what I need to get done. I also set reminders on my phone in case I didn’t get to check my planners. It does get hard at times to manage both school and softball, but it’s not impossible. You just have to manage your priorities and finish a task once you’ve started it.
What kinds of skills have you gained as a student athlete that you will take with you into your future profession?
The biggest skills I have taken from softball are time management and the importance of teamwork. Time management will always be important; it will allow me to set up patient schedules properly and time for me to do other things like meetings and other professional business tasks. Teamwork is very important in the field of healthcare. Sometimes, patients will be receiving care from other specialists, so it’s important to be able to work well with others in order to help your patient reach their health goals and receive proper treatment. Teamwork also serves an important purpose among co-workers. Creating a fun and professional work atmosphere not only helps healthcare workers do their jobs properly, but it also translates to the patients you are caring for. If they feel their healthcare provider is happy, they too will feel happy and confident in the treatment they are receiving.
What are your professional goals?
My professional goal is to be an occupational therapist. I will be applying for occupational therapy school soon, and I am so excited. I want to work in the hospitals and help improve the quality of life of these patients. In the future, I hope to open my own practice and incorporate therapy with the use of animals such as dogs.
For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences program, please visit: https://www.utep.edu/chs/bsrhsc/
Photo courtesy of Krysten Estrada.