When Sydney Shull first came to college, she thought she already knew the beginning, middle, and end of her Coker story: She would come to Hartsville, play basketball, do some studying, and get her degree.
After a year, it became obvious that her time here would involve much, much more than that. Now a junior, Sydney has been part of several groups on campus, including Enactus, CAB, the Student Athletic Committee, the Student Academic Committee, and the President’s Student Advisory Committee.
“It’ll change your life,” Sydney says. “The best advice I can give [new Coker students] is ‘get involved.’” This applies even to her fellow student-athletes, whom she knows sometimes feel pressed for time. She insists it’s worth the extra effort, noting that community involvement will “make you a better person and will make your experience here that much greater.”
“Coker has done a lot to help me for my future,” Sydney explains. One of her favorite memories is a trip her Enactus team took to Atlanta for a regional competition. The group presented projects from the previous year, like the Rent-a-Fridge program, through which students are able to rent refurbished refrigerators. The Coker team placed an impressive 20th out of 100 teams.
“Having a scholarship means a lot.”
Throughout her years at Coker, Sydney’s confidence has grown. She knows now that she can talk with anyone, from peers to older adults. She has learned better time management skills, and feels prepared to serve others in a greater way than ever before. She cites her scholarship as a key factor in keeping her on track.
“Having a scholarship means a lot,” says Sydney. “One, it makes me determined to keep my scholarship — but it also keeps me motivated to do my best on and off the court, and to work hard. It makes me want to do more whenever I can, and gives me that extra push.”
In the future, Sydney plans to make the most of her sports management major. “I want to stay on the business side of sports once I finish playing,” she says, but that doesn’t mean she’s in a rush to graduate just yet. She considers Coker home, and faculty and fellow students family.
“When I leave here, I honestly miss it.”