Kaitlyn Eichorst '17
Persevering Through Trials
With an interest in marine biology, Kaitlyn Eichorst came to Spring Hill College from the desert setting of Cave Creek, Arizona, to study animal behavior and ecology. She was drawn to Spring Hill’s size after attending Notre Dame Preparatory High School, and saw The Hill as what she refers to as “her only logical choice.” Her classroom experiences, along with two summers spent at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, have solidified her career path.
Kaitlyn, who was originally recruited to play Badger soccer, also spent the last year as assistant varsity coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile. Viewing the game from the perspective of her coaches has provided her with a different prospective, and she admits she now has a new appreciation and understanding of where her coaches were coming from over the years. She also participated in the Delta Delta Delta sorority, National Society of Leadership and Success, Oasis for Orphans club and Spring Hill Ocean Research and Exploration Society.
According to Kaitlyn, the experiences that have had the greatest impact, however, happened while studying at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab over two summers. Her coursework in marine behavior ecology and plankton biology gave her opportunities to see the island, participate in lab experiments, study fish and other marine wildlife, and spend time on the water.
“I am proud of my successes in areas of soccer, school, and extracurricular activities, which made my time enjoyable and worth every second. I am also grateful for my failures because without them I would not have learned from my mistakes and become the person I am today.”
But, it wasn’t all positive for Kaitlyn. She has faced accidents, injuries and other health issues that have sidelined her from some routine activities over the last four years. But, with a wisdom beyond many students her age, she notes that she learned three very valuable things through each experience: first, that life is precious; second, that she has great friends that stayed by her; and third, that she has a passion for coaching soccer as well as playing on the team.
“My time at Spring Hill College has been filled with both successes and failures,” Kaitlyn said. “I am proud of my successes in areas of soccer, school, and extracurricular activities, which made my time enjoyable and worth every second. I am also grateful for my failures because without them I would not have learned from my mistakes and become the person I am today.”
After graduation, she plans to take summer classes at Arizona State University while studying for the Graduate Record Exam, working at the new OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona, and volunteering at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park in Litchfield Park, Arizona. She hopes to attend a graduate program in marine animal behavior.
As she prepares to part The Hill, Kaitlyn’s message to freshman students is this: “Take advantage of every moment because it goes by fast. This is a time to grow and flourish.”