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Transitioning to College with Chris Eubanks
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Freshman Chris Eubanks grew up in Atlanta where he is now attending Georgia Tech. Lisa Stone of ParentingAces.com spoke with him about the challenges of transitioning from junior tennis to Division I college tennis.

 

Questions and Answers

Lisa Stone (LS): What are some of the challenges you've felt living on campus away from home, in the dorms and rooming with fellow teammates?

Chris Eubanks is a freshman at Tech
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Chris Eubanks (CE): It didn't seem like that big a deal for me, coming here to Tech. The same thing that was happening at home is happening here in terms of my family being there for me. I think it's really important for juniors coming out to find a close-knit team that feels almost like family, that treats you almost like how your parents would treat you, to hold you accountable. If you're not doing something right, you need your teammates to tell you. That's one of the things we pride ourselves on here at Tech. We're all a family.

When I first committed, the first thing [Junior] Nathan Rackitt told me was, "Welcome to the family." At first, I thought he was just being nice, but when you're living with these guys - you're living together, cooking together, and all that - the nervousness of living away from home goes away really quickly. Yes, you're going to have differences - that's just part of every family - but we're still a family and we still genuinely love each other and care about each other and that part makes being here feel like I'm just at a second home.

It's the same for academics. If one of us is slipping with our grades or slacking off, we try to pick each other up and say, "Hey, man, what's going on with you?" We ask to see his notes and make sure he's going to class. We're trying to be the best teammates and the best family members we can be.

 

LS: You're part of a rather large incoming freshman class at Georgia Tech, and you all knew each other coming up through the juniors. Were there any challenges with that because maybe you had contentious matches against each other in the juniors and now you're teammates and have to forgive and forget?

CE: Yes, we all knew each other and were all friends in the juniors. I feel like, living together now, we're getting to know each other better, but we really haven't had to work that hard at it.

I remember one match at Furman when I was playing Michael [Kay] and some stuff was going on between us during the match. But, right after the match - Michael won - there were no hard feelings. The first words he said to me when we shook hands at the end were, "I can't wait to play with you. Fight Jackets!"

 

Eubanks has adjusted well to college life
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
LS: You attended regular public high school. Have you found, from an academic standpoint, that things are harder now that you're in college? How are you managing your time between tennis and your classes?

CE: Growing up in my family, academics were always No. 1. At an early age, I developed my own personal need to do well academically. Coming from high school where your time is totally organized, college is different. No one is begging you or telling you to go to class. It's all on you. You really have to take responsibility for your actions. I kind of enjoy that. When I'm sitting in class now, sometimes I think to myself, "Wow, I could just walk out of here and no one would care." But I stay. I'm holding myself accountable.

I try to help my teammates, too, especially the ones who are coming from homeschooling. Any advice I can give them about managing their time and moving from class to class, I do that the best I can. I'm no expert at it, but I do feel like I have a little more experience than maybe they do.

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Page updated on Monday, March 11, 2019
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