Katie Waske: Athlete and Scholar

Katie Waske has a lot on her plate! As a freshman on the Michigan ski team, Katie balances a club sport on top of managing an off-campus job where she works as a brand ambassador for TheMountCO, taking a full load of classes, and being an active member of her sorority. Her Campus was lucky enough to sit down and talk with her about her experiences as an athlete and her admirable involvement in many different areas of life on campus.

Her Campus: Did you always know you were going to ski in college? Tell us a bit about your experience.

Katie Waske: I’ve been lucky enough to be skiing since the time I was little! My dad took me out on the slopes for the first time when I was only 2 years old, and it’s been almost impossible for me to stop since then. With 17 years of skiing under my belt and around 7 years of competitive racing, I knew the sport was not something I couldn’t give up. My sister was also on the UofM ski team so I knew that if I was lucky enough to get into UofM, that the ski team was something I was dying to be apart of. I was always told stories of these wild ski kids that would make my college experience a million times better.

 

HC: How does it feel to be an athlete on campus and to be a part of that community?

KW: Being a part of ski team is one of my favorite things! It’s so refreshing to be surrounded by kids that share the same personality as me and love my favorite sport. I look forward to seeing my team around campus everyday and love that they all make an effort to say hello to the babies of the team. No one cares what grade you’re in, or where you came from, and everyone is so fun and welcoming!

 

HC: How is it being a part of a team here that, unlike football, is a bit more under the radar? Do you feel like you gain as much support as some of our bigger teams?

KW: I think the hardest part about being on ski team is the fact that none of our races are close to campus; we travel 4 hours for each competition. A lot of my friends and amazing sorority sisters have always said they want to come see me race but can’t because of the distance. But that doesn’t stop them from texting me right after I finish my runs and ask me how I did! Another cool thing about being apart of the club team community is we sometimes get to mix with other teams! The club team community is supportive of each other, especially at the University of Michigan.

 

HC: What is your typical schedule of a week during ski season along with all of your other commitments?

KW: Well on top of a challenging school schedule I find it’s hard to manage my time. I leave Friday mornings and return back to AA Sunday nights because of ski competitions, so all of my homework must be done during the week. I forgot what it’s like to be able to dedicate Sunday’s to homework and not traveling. I try to keep a workout schedule during the week as well, so my free time is very limited. I often feel bad because I miss seeing my big and best friends during the week, but I could never replace my amazing ski team friends. I really like being a part of a social fraternity, but I often find that I can’t always commit my time to being at chapter every week and that upsets me. It’s funny because people often ask me “if I’m still alive” when they see me on campus because I’ll go missing from social life for weeks, months, at a time. I’m super thankful of my best friends who support what I do AND find random times during the week that fit my schedule to catch up.

 

HC: Balancing all of these different commitments is admirable and very difficult.  How do you balance all of these different passions? Has this balancing of activities been especially stressful, rewarding, or both?

KW: It might sound nerdy, but I’m actually obsessed with google calendar. I love planning out my week using calendars and being able to visually see when I have free time (which is never). I’m so thankful to be apart of many different commitments, but being busy all the time has really opened my eyes to who my real friends are because they try to work with my schedule. I can’t lie, my grades sometimes take a hit after a busy week of social and ski team, but you’ve got to have a little bit of fun every once and awhile!

Images courtesy of: Katie Waske