Kelley Heron

Class of 2022

What does the program mean to you?

This program has given me friendships that will go beyond my college years. I truly consider this swim team my second family; a team that is made up of the most amazing people I have ever met. Being from South Florida, it is difficult to visit home or see my family and relatives, but my class and their parents have all welcomed me into their homes when I wasn’t able to travel.

Why did you choose MSU?

My college decision process was one of the most stressful times in my life. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere that offered a successful path to my career goal, but still be able to swim at a division 1 level. Michigan State was the ideal place to strive both in and out of the pool. I chose to swim at MSU because of the emphasis of academics. This program’s history of swimmers that go on to become prosperous in their chosen careers was something that really caught my eye. The absence of an 8 lane pool was not something that I even considered as of importance in my college decision. True athletes don’t need luxury; they strive from making the most of what they’re given, and when their goals are reached it is that much more meaningful because of the hard work that was put forth.

Biggest life-lesson you are learning/learned from MSU?

The biggest life lesson that I have learned during my time here at MSU is to never take anything for granted. Recently, I have been reminiscing of the times pre-covid. This time last year Michigan State’s Swim and Dive team was competing in dual meets across the country and getting ready to travel to Delray Beach, Florida for a training trip. Group activities among the swim team and other sports teams at MSU were occurring and friendships were being formed left and right. Now, there are currently no dual meets and our training trip (the highlight of the season) is no longer happening. There are restrictions amongst all of the MSU sports teams on campus and it is difficult to even bond with the younger athletes on the swim team. Although I know that it is impossible to control the reality and consequences of a pandemic, these traditions of being on the swim team go back years and would soon be a reality again in the near future. It is so difficult to grasp that those memories may not have any more to build from, if and when there is no longer a swim program next year. My 4 years of swimming in college were cut short and taken from me, after so much hard work and dedication was given over the 15 years as a competitive swimmer. I understand that we should always live life to the fullest, but I now take that more seriously than ever.