By Megan Seals
When it comes to switching universities, some students have problems adjusting to a new campus and atmosphere. However, for Tobie Joy, junior nursing major, transferring from the campus of Middle Tennessee State University to Union University did not require much adjustment.
Joy graduated from Covington (Tenn.) High School, where she participated in the softball and volleyball programs. For her first year of college, Joy attended MTSU and became part of the women’s softball program, starting in 56 games.
“As far as softball goes, we put in 40-plus hours a week, every week,” Joy said. “It was our No. 1 priority and we were physically and mentally expected to go through more than I have ever experienced. All the work was definitely worth it once we stepped out onto the field with big-name schools such as Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State.”
Despite her dream of playing for MTSU, Joy knew the time spent at practice would interfere with her academic career.
“After signing with MTSU to play softball, I declared nursing my major,” Joy said. “After I got there, they were encouraging me to change (my major) because it was going to be so difficult to complete nursing school while playing softball. I loved the school and had a great freshman season, but then I decided I needed to make a move in order to be able to have support in both softball and education from my coaches and advisors.”
Joy said Union coach Heather Hall reached out to her after her decision to leave the MTSU campus.
“Coach Hall called me after she found out I was leaving MTSU and invited me to visit Union,” Joy said.
“Once I visited and explored the nursing program I knew Union was the right place for me. Coach Hall made a great impression on me and I knew I wanted to play for her.”
Joy said her decision to transfer to Union is one of the best choices she has made in her life. From the size of the classes to the grading scale, she admitted it has been a radical change. Fitting in with her new teammates has not seemed to be a problem, though.
“Her glove and bat are her strengths, and both will help us tremendously this year,” said Katie Beth Fesmire, freshman nursing major. “Tobie is all over the field playing second, and when she bats she always finds a way to get on base. She also will help us out a lot on the mound this year. She has a great attitude, which helps boost our team up because she wants us to be the best team we can be.”
For athletes like Joy, playing in a state-school athletic program is a dream come true. Joy realized while her future in athletics is important, her education is her top priority.