Erin Himes is about to take part in her final
college meet this week at the PCSC Championships. Before the event, which
begins Wednesday at East Los Angeles College, the senior swimmer reflects on
her four years for us:
Heading into my final swim meet, I've thought a lot about how swimming has defined my last four years at Pepperdine. Growing up, I never thought that swimming in college would be something I'd be good enough to do and I really never wanted to do it. As I got closer to the end of high school, my times started to drop and I started to see collegiate swimming as a possibility. Pushed forward by a coach who encouraged me to pursue college swimming as a way to find community, I took an interest in Pepperdine.
The minute I met Coach Nick, I was sold. Pepperdine, for me, was the whole package: a close swim team, a beautiful location, quality academics and the opportunity to study abroad despite being a student-athlete. Here, I knew I wouldn't miss out on being a college student just because I was an athlete.
While that's ultimately been very true, I am continually amazed by how huge of a role swimming has played in my life. I did get the chance to study abroad for a summer, to go on Project Serve trips and to form close relationships with my professors, but the impact of being a student-athlete has been far more fulfilling than I could have imagined. I've gained years of wisdom and insight from the greatest and most engaged coaching staff I've ever encountered. And I've gotten to watch a team grow and develop much more than I ever anticipated.
These past four years have been definitive for the future of swimming at Pepperdine. I've watched each year as recruits have gotten faster and faster and more passionate about swimming. I've been pushed harder by each class of freshmen that has come to our team. To be a part of such an incredible era of growth has been a blessing and I look forward to watching this program thrive even more in the future.
When I was a high school senior, I wasn't sure what swimming would mean to me in the future. As a college senior, it now means much, much more than best times and scoring points. Swimming as a Wave has given me purpose and shaped me into much more than just a strong athlete. To get to spend every day with people who want to succeed and want to see each other succeed is an experience like no other, and I head into this final meet knowing that whatever happens in the pool, my college swimming career has been the most fulfilling commitment of my life.