Stepping out of your comfort zone – Mariluz Sanchez

University of Stirling student Mariluz Sanches posting infront of Airthrey Loch

Hi, I’m Mariluz Sanchez, and I am a first-year Sport Business Management student. I am originally from Spain. However, I grew up in a Spanish/German environment living for eight years in Germany and eight years in Spain. I then moved to France for three years, where I finished High School.   

Football plays a huge role in my life, but like everything in life, my competitive sporting career will someday come to an end. I think that Sport Business Management will keep me linked in some way to performance or amateur sport, and I will be able to continue enjoying sport but from a different perspective and try to give back what sport has given to me.  

Photo of University of Stirling Women's football team

I was encouraged to pursue my studies in English since my first language in school was English. So, I decided that it would make sense to continue studying in English. I chose Scotland as I had never been there before, and I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and immerse myself in a different culture. The University of Stirling offered a program where I could study and play competitive football simultaneously. This made my decision regarding the stress that one might have when it comes to choosing what University very easy. Without mentioning the great sport facilities that are available to us.   

From my personal experience, studying online is more flexible than in-person teaching. Pre-recorded lectures and some online seminars a week have allowed me to go at my own pace. It has also made it possible to study from France over the two months that football was obliged to stop due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, I can’t wait to start in-person lessons and have an actual conversation with fellow students and professors rather than a screen.  

Making friends has been fortunately very easy for me as I quickly got along with the girls in the team. There are also many clubs and societies, so the chances of meeting people with the same interests are very high.  

Students playing football on a pitch

Joining the team has been very exciting. There are many different personalities in the team, and I felt welcome from the very first minute. It has been great to see the improvement we have made as a team since September. Although the results have not been speaking in our favour, I think we have a very hungry squad, and we are ready for football to return.  

We usually train three times a week with the SWPL 2 team and once a week with the BUCS team. This year we have not played in the BUCS league due to the pandemic, which means that we only had one game on Sundays, and rarely we had a match on a Wednesday. During a ‘normal’ season it would be one SWPL 2 game on Sunday and one BUCS game on Wednesdays.   

My final advice to any student thinking to study in Stirling would be to try out as many sports and societies over the first few weeks and decide after you have tried it out. Don’t overthink things and give everything a try

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