Junior Rower Rachel White
March 1, 2013
By: Courtney Fritts
She stands out in a crowd, not because of her largely outspoken personality, but mostly because of her above-average height and her infectious smile.
Junior rower Rachel White says she is more of a leader on her team this year and it's made all the difference. The Chattanooga native is one of eight children in her family and says her happy and passionate personality drives her to be competitive at everything she does.
What are you most passionate about?
"I love to learn and my favorite thing is being with my family, but here at school, I would say that my favorite part of being at UT is my teammates and they have taught me the most out of anything in my life. I hope to be a good leader this season."
How has having a big family shaped who you are?
"I think the biggest thing is that my siblings have taught me to be selfless with my time and my space. When you have that many siblings, you can't be selfish in the least. It's taught me to be compassionate towards other people. In order, my siblings: Hannah is 22, then I am 21, Luke is 17, Gracie is 15, Calvin is 13, Addie is 7, Ellie is 5 and Maggie will be 2 this month."
If you could change anything in your life, would you?
"I would live more fully if I could and not get hung up on the little things like I tend to do. In rowing, I would row with no fear whatsoever and with people; I would just be who I am without trying to change anything about myself."
What is your major?
"I am a psychology major and hopefully I can go into counseling psychology or possibly law school. I would love to go to law school because it's a challenge and I'm finding that I really like political science, so that should be interesting."
What's your favorite memory of your time at UT?
"Some of my favorite memories are when the whole team goes to football games together; it's such a fun tradition. My favorite rowing memory is winning conference last year. The season leading up to conference hadn't been what we wanted it to be and a lot of things had to fall into place for it to work out and we were able to make that happen. Hard work finally paid off and there's not a better feeling in the world than that. Let's hope for it again this year."
What's your most favorite thing about rowing?
"The harmony of it, not to sound silly, but the flow and the power of the sport is something that I've always respected."
How long have you been rowing?
"About six years. I started rowing because I was terrible at basketball. My dad decided that I would be good at rowing, so he just dropped me off at the boathouse and I just learned. It has made me into who I am and built my character single-handedly more than anything else in life, other than my parents, of course."
What's your favorite spot on campus?
"The art and architecture building. I'm a sucker for Einstein Brothers Bagels and the people in the building are so interesting, so I love people-watching there."
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
"FLYING! I think about this all the time! If I could just climb up on a roof and fly away, that would be awesome. I'd pay a million bucks to be able to do that."
If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be?
"My favorite author, C.S. Lewis. I would really like to sit down and talk to him about his books and I would probably pass out because I'm a huge fan. He wrote The Chronicles of Narnia and those were my favorite when I was younger. My favorite now of his is Surprise by Joy. He was a great author."
What are you most looking forward to this season?
"This team that we have is more mature and more courageous than we've ever been since I've been here. I just want to see us row to our full potential, which I think we haven't seen yet, but I just can't wait to start racing to see how fast we truly can be. I think Coach has done everything she can in coaching us. As a team, we need to have no limits and no fear this spring season and really just go for broke because we're not hanging back this year. We need to be where we can be, which is up with the best."
What would it mean to you to go to nationals this year?
"I think it's something that we will have to work very hard for, but I believe that we're already starting to make the sacrifices, it's just a matter of doing our very best in every situation we're faced with. I will definitely be so happy once we make it there. If we don't go to nationals, we won't be accomplishing what we're capable of and we'll be short-selling our strengths as a team and I will be very disappointed."
Before it was time for White to lift weights on Thursday afternoon, she wanted to add one last thing about her spring season, which is inching closer every practice.
"I trust in my teammates completely and I know they're doing everything they can for me and I'll do everything I can for them as well. From here out, it's just good, honest hard work and a little bit of dreaming and believing that it can happen."