CMP employee Catherine Green, a former college athlete, shares her experiences on and off the firing line. As a junior, Green was the 2009 Rhode Island Junior smallbore prone champion and was also the 2009 and 2010 Rhode Island Governor’s Cup smallbore champion. She also marked a National Record and collected several other accolades along her journey. Her choice to carry her marksmanship career onto the Texas Christian University rifle team from 2010 to 2014 led her to new friends, ups and downs and memories she’ll never forget.
I heard an analogy recently.
“We are all in the same storm, but we are all in different boats.”
I felt that defined life, the pandemic and the college experience. People who have it easy may have a yacht, some people may have to work for their boat to sail and others may wreck. Let me tell you about my boat, I mean, my college experience.
I graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in art education. I wanted an art degree with a minor in education, and this degree combined both. My first semester at TCU, I had all A’s and landed myself on the Dean’s List. A few years later, there was a semester where I failed a class. Life happens and you roll with it.
I met one of my best friends, Jaime Dowd, at TCU. She and I came in at the same time. Jaime was a nursing major and in the ROTC. She walked-on, having been a sporter shooter, transitioned to precision, and within a few years was a counter on the team. We bonded over our love of music one day when we were hanging out at the range the first week, freshman year, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Jaime was also my roommate for the next three years. She is now serving her country as an active duty Army nurse.
The rest of the team was great too. We had a fabulous group of girls. Sorry, boys, TCU is a Title IX team. They were supportive, honest, funny, and strong. I lucked out when it came to teammates. We were truly a family. We lived, practiced, traveled, worked out, ate meals, and hung out together. We had our ups and our downs like any family. I loved going into battle with these ladies. Our leader, a.k.a. Coach Karen Monez, always made sure we were on the right track and had what we needed.
I and a few other students were in a lot of the same classes because we were getting the same degree. My friend Alex and I spent a lot of time cramming for art history tests at Ol’ South Diner. Don’t procrastinate, kids, it makes for very late nights. But when you are in the trenches at the 11th hour, have someone with you. It makes life seem less scary. My art girls made getting my degree memorable because we were all learning from each other.
I went to concerts, traveled to different states for matches and road trips with friends, jumped off of a cliff, won championships, made the Dean’s List, struggled with school, had the greatest friends, teammates and schoolmates I could ask for, and earned a degree.
Everyone’s college experience is different. Mine was a mixed bag of awesome and struggles that made me who I am. Maybe college isn’t the right path for you. But whatever you do, make the most of it and find people to do it with.
(Quick shout out to my parents Denise and Kevin for helping me through college, my junior coaches Michele Makucevich and Dan Nagelhout for getting me to and through TCU [go Newport Junior Rifle Team], and my family and friends for believing in me).
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.