Former FirstPoint USA client, Megan Fae Wilson went to the states on a soccer scholarship in 2013 and is soon due to graduate from Harris-Stowe State University. Megan took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us about life as a student athlete, dealing with homesickness and plans after graduation.
Megan comes from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, where she attended Woodham Academy. When Megan first started playing soccer she played for a boys team, as there were no local girls teams around at the time. However, as she got older, girls’ soccer became more popular locally and Megan joined her first girls team, the Darlington Spaire Lasses.
Megan wished to go to the US on a soccer scholarship as she felt it was a great opportunity to utilise her talents and ability to further her education for little to no costs, opposed to racking up a large student debt at home. She also states that it had always been a dream of hers to live in the states and chase the American dream, so a scholarship provided the perfect chance. Initially, after telling her family about her opportunity to play in America, Megan said they were shocked but also very excited for her, as they knew this was her dream. Megan and her family found the process of obtaining a soccer scholarship out the states to be quite lengthy, but knew that this was essential in order to ensure all the right decisions were being made, but states they were guided in the right direction throughout the process by FirstPoint USA.
For the first two years of her soccer scholarship, Megan attended a junior college, Illinois Central College. She stated…
“The campus and facilities at ICC were absolutely amazing. Amazing gym, an indoor running track, weight room just for athletes, amazing game field and amazing practice fields. The academic building was actually a really big circle so it wasn't so bad when I was trying to find my way as I knew if I kept walking I would find where I needed to be. When I first arrived my first impression was, everything is just so much bigger.”
Megan stated the mover to Harris-Stowe State University was a nerve-wracking one, but she loved the location of the school, Downtown St. Louis, as there was always so much to do. However, Megan stated that despite always being busy at school, she still suffered from homesickness, which she said is inevitable after such a move. But she stated that having such a supportive family helped this; she was able to speak to them every day, and her family had made three trips out to the states to see her and watch her play.
Throughout her time at both ICC and HSSU, Megan had a number of fantastic experiences and achievements. She states her highlight of her time in the states to be her senior year. She told us she knew this was the year she really had to produce, and make it a great year to end on. At the end of her senior year, Megan was named second in the American Midwest Conference in goals, and was named 1st Team in All Conference – a fantastic achievement!
Of course, being a student athlete means juggling your studies and your sport, but in her final year, Megan went one step further. She interned at Wells Fargo Advisors Headquarters in St. Louis. Telling us that this experience gave her the opportunity to grasp a better understanding of corporate America, which she found to be an amazing experience.
After graduation, Megan hopes to stay in the states to work, before returning to school at some point in the future to get her Masters. We asked Megan if she had any advice for players who are currently thinking about heading to the states on a sports scholarship, and she had this advice…
“I would really advise it with a lot of consideration, really talk with your family for their support and advice. It could be an amazing opportunity that you shouldn't pass up. I took the opportunity and it’s been amazing so far, I honestly love my life out here. Its different from what I was used to but I'm glad I made the move and didn't give up a passion of mine. Take the talents you have and use them to your advantage, you'll be presented with opportunities after playing, just remember you're a student before you're an athlete.”
We'd like to thank Megan for taking some time out to catch up with us recently, and to wish her the best of luck for her future.