By David Amirsadri
Excellence on the field and in the classroom is part and parcel of a student athlete’s life. For this group, a blend of confidence, perseverance, and independence is expected. From drilling problems in math class, to drills on the turf, these students must juggle the rigor of demanding academics and competitive athletics. For Elisabeth Loiselle, a life-long East Greenwich student athlete, the last four years hold countless examples of exceeding the threshold, soaring to stratospheric heights in all endeavours.
When she first stepped foot into East Greenwich High School, Elisabeth entered as a content yet nervous 14 year old. Despite beginning with the apprehensive excitement typical of any freshman, Elisabeth’s high school career would be a unique one all her own.
“When I was little, I struggled with school a bit. In middle school, I was not invited to join the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS),” Elisabeth told me with a slight laugh. “I set a goal for myself freshman year: I wanted to make the National Honor Society (NHS). It was the one thing I really wanted.” For Elisabeth, this goal was the wellspring of success in all things educational. It helped, of course, that Elisabeth enjoyed school, saying that she was “always willing to try new things, learn new concepts, or explore different perspectives.”
In particular, Elisabeth noted that her sophomore year was a significant inflection point. “I didn’t perform as well as I wanted to in freshman year, I didn’t get it. It kind of clicked sophomore year, and I realized I had a lot of slack to pick up.” It was through this scholarly ascent that Elisabeth would learn the value of persistence. “It might not always be the path you want it to be, but that’s okay. If you keep trying and it’s meant to be– or even if it’s not meant to be– if you keep persisting, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much energy it takes, it will happen.”
In the same vein, Elisabeth came to respect the importance of de-stressing, and approaching challenges with serenity. “Putting all this stress on myself, and this constant chaotic energy wasn’t going to help me achieve my goals. I just needed to believe in myself and what I was doing,” she told me. “Trying is important, grades are important, but they aren’t defining who I am.” Despite this, grappling with the demands of a challenging curriculum built up significant confidence in Elisabeth. “I think the biggest change academically for me was that I gained a lot of confidence in my performance throughout high school,” she said. “As my confidence built up, so did my abilities.”
In addition to bringing academic achievement, Elisabeth’s motivation, maturity, and dedication was of the utmost importance in the college search. A passionate lacrosse player, Elisabeth noted that her college application process was rather unorthodox. “I really started looking at colleges relatively seriously my freshman year,” Elisabeth explained. This seriousness would dramatically increase during her sophomore year. If a college struck her fancy, she would contact the lacrosse coaches at the institution, and they would assess her performance in a game. Elisabeth told me that the sense of community that pervaded EGHS was something she dearly cherished. “The school [EGHS] has created a very special community,” noted Elisabeth. A desire for this same sense of community helped guide her college search, and lead her to Pennsylvania’s Muhlenberg College. “I knew it was a good fit for me, both on and off the field,” said Elisabeth. “I really wanted to play at the Divison 3 level, but if it didn’t work out– if for some reason there was a school I loved but lacrosse couldn’t have been a part of it– then academics and my social happiness came first. I’m very blessed that I didn’t have to do that…I’m extremely happy with my choice.”
Elisabeth credits her parents for instilling within her an extraordinary drive. “I always looked to their advice and experiences to form and shape my own,” Elisabeth told me.
At the behest of her father, Elisabeth tried out for the Lacrosse Competitive Team in Massachusetts– something she had been reluctant to do. Despite the initial “butterflies in the stomach,” Elisabeth’s experiences on the team were immensely positive, describing it as “one of the best things I’ve ever done.” For Elisabeth, lacrosse is a passion and a family tradition– she follows in her father’s footsteps, a former college lacrosse player himself.
Additionally, Elisabeth refers to her mother as her best friend, someone offering reason, support, and guidance. “She knows me really well. She knows what’s best for me, and knows the things that I need in life to succeed,” noted Elisabeth. “It’s going to be weird not being with her next year– she’s my rock.”
The years to come will be bright for Elisabeth Loiselle. An aspiring student of history and business, Elisabeth told me about the profound impact her teachers have had on her life. “The teachers at our school make us feel so excited about learning, and passionate about it… I wanted to continue that with my life,” Elisabeth reminisced.
“Without getting such an great education from such an amazing group of people, and having such an amazing group of friends within the very same community and district, I would not be the person I am today, or in such a great position to be successful,” Elisabeth told me.
With her skills, motivation, and determination, EG can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish in the future, Elisabeth! Best of luck in all that you do!