March 20, 2001
By Alayne Ruzyla
All good things must come to an end. The cliché has been both heard and used often and frequently rings true. Must it always?
Senior Stephanie Elowsky has been a member of Florida State's softball team for the past two years. As a transfer from Pensacola Junior College where she was named outstanding offensive player two consecutive seasons, this is only her second year playing Division I ball. As quickly as it all began, it seems, it is ending.
Looking back at it all, from her days playing slow pitch softball, to her transition into a remarkable fast pitch career, Stephanie has been left with memories and experiences. She has been left with knowledge and maturity. Perhaps most importantly, however, she has been left with life skills she will be able to easily assimilate into her future, wherever it may take her.
Spending so much time with her life devoted to the game of softball, one may think that Stephanie might regret the lack of free time the sport provides her with. For her, the opposite is true. Softball, instead, has provided her with exactly the type of social life that many crave.
"I absolutely love having something to do everyday," Stephanie stated. "Whether it's practice, working out, or games, I never get a chance to be bored."
Being on a team also has many other benefits that Stephanie has been able to take advantage of over the years.
"At the start of every season," she said. "I automatically had 17 new friends. Where else can you be where that will happen?"
Being a senior, Stephanie has learned to appreciate everything the sport has offered her. One of the things she may have appreciated the most, perhaps, has been the many road trips that softball has afforded her throughout the years.
"Road trips are probably one of the most exciting things about playing college ball," Stephanie said. "I have been given the opportunity to go see so many interesting parts of the country. Everyone always seems to get along, and we all definitely love the chance to get out of Tallahassee on occasion, to see new things."
While playing college athletics definitely has its rewards, it certainly has some setbacks. For example, student-athletes must learn to deal with the pressures of playing for a nationally recognized team, as well as maintain their scholarly work. Stephanie may make balancing her life as a college athlete with her life as a college student seem easy with her modesty, but it certainly took a determined attitude to become a member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll last season, her first at Florida State.
"Playing over the years has taught me how to effectively manage my time," she stated. "I mean I can't go out that much, because my time is limited especially in the fall. I have found it easy to dedicate myself to the sport.
"I think my maturity has also helped me maintain my grades," Stephanie added. "I focus on my schoolwork, and I think about the future. Since I plan to get my Master's degree, school is very important to me."
She has found that things did get more difficult for her when she entered the ACC.
"The competition here is much harder than what I faced in junior college," she said. "It's really a new world. Everyone here is very good. I have found that I really need to work hard, to press myself."
Working hard is something Stephanie plans on doing for awhile. With graduation quickly approaching, she has begun to focus on what will come next.
"I'm very determined to attend graduate school in order to get my Master's degree in either business or sport administration," she said. "Hopefully I'll be able to start next fall."
Stephanie's excellent grades throughout the past two years should make acceptance into a graduate program a reality this fall. In fact, she would love to remain an FSU student, and possibly assist the softball team next season.
"I have met so many great people here at Florida State," she stated. "I have so many friends, and memories. I love the whole athletic lifestyle, and would really like a chance to help out the team next year."
And after that?
"I'm really not one to plan too far ahead," Stephanie said. " I'm more of a day to day type person. What I do know is that I want to have fun in whatever it is I do, whether it's coaching or sitting in an office. Softball has made me into who I am today, and I plan on bringing that wherever I go."
Sounds like good things really don't have to come to an end. For Stephanie Elowsky, they may be only beginning.