Q: What have you had to sacrifice in order to be a student-athlete? Q: What is your schedule like? Q: What is it like to be part of a relatively new program? It’s [fun] to be part of a program that’s still growing and new. I was blessed to be part of the freshman class that still had that first senior class to come in. I got to see the process they went through, what they had worked through, and now, you go full circle to a new and different team. But each group that I was with has brought something different. This team has grown so much, and there’s been so many great times and great years. My freshman and sophomore years, we were really top. We had a little bit of a growing year last year. Again, this year, we’ve come back strong and [have] all come together. It’s exciting to see the up-and-downs and now to be on the road to success, [to] be in a group that’s been doing well. It’s a lot of memories all together. There’s been so many things with my team, and all these experiences we have to go through are unique. Things like travel trips are really special to being a student-athlete and things that you can’t get back. I don’t have a specific memory that stands out, but being with my team, being in the locker room, just hanging out. Being down the street from one of my friends and being able to hit them up and go get lunch — those are the things that I am going to miss most when I graduate. It’s much harder in the real world to be able to hang out with your friends. I think it’s just the college experience. I’m sure I haven’t been perfect, but anything I haven’t done right, I’ve been happy for messing up and whatnot. All those lessons that I’ve learned have somehow helped me [later on]. For the most part, I’ve tried my best to squeeze USC in school and service and lacrosse, [to] try to get the most out of it possible. I’m happy with mistakes I have made because I’ve learned a lot from [them], so no huge regrets off the top of my mind. Q: Do you have any regrets from the past four years? My strongest advice when it specifically comes to athletics is to learn to go with the punches. There’s going to be a lot of conflicts, there’s going to be a lot of things that are going to come with being a student athlete, but learning how to take it and go with it and not sit in the moment and complain about it — that’s a big learning curve. That’s going to stop you a little bit from being successful. That’s something that every freshman has to learn. There’s a lot on your plate. For many college students, four years of school can seem to fly by quickly. For student-athletes, grueling workouts, travel and the rigors of competing at the Division I level can make it go by even quicker. In this series, the Daily Trojan sits down with senior athletes playing various sports at USC to discuss their experience over the past four years, from their athletic life to their academic life. This week’s senior is women’s lacrosse defender Jackie Gilbert, a team captain who made last year’s Pac-12 All-Conference First Team. We have our practice block from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Since I’m a senior, my classload isn’t crazy schedule-wise. In previous years, there would usually be class afterward from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and at 6 p.m., you’re usually studying and doing homework. If you’re traveling, you’re trying to fit in homework and all that, which is usually the hardest. It’s all about prioritizing and trying to get stuff done right away. It’s a lot, but it’s well worth it. Q: What is your favorite memory at USC? We do have to sacrifice a lot, especially if you want to be a top student, too. That’s the hardest balance — being able to have fun and have time with your friends as well as be a top student athlete and a top student. You’re going to have to lose something between there — not be able to go out as much and stuff like that. It’s all about balance. It’s all about knowing what areas are you strong in, when can you have fun? It’s a lot of learning. For the most part, I enjoy it. I enjoy the nature of having to juggle things. If anything, I’d find it harder if I had more time. I’ve appreciated being a student-athlete because it’s made it personally easier. The more things I have, I’m probably more organized. Q: What’s one thing about lacrosse that most people don’t know? Q: What’s next for you? Q: Do you have any advice for freshman athletes? I’m a real estate major and business minor, so afterward I’m working at a company called Eastdil Secured, which does real estate investment sales and investment banking. I hope to try to continue professional lacrosse, if I can do it with my job. But the good thing about our team and culture is everyone really appreciates each other. Our defensive unit is super close. When someone does something that maybe the crowd doesn’t notice, we know and we appreciate it. The game of lacrosse – the intricate details – are something that is still expanding on the west coast. Michelle Mankoff/Daily Trojan There’s probably a lot of things people don’t know. On the west coast, you still get asked, ‘What is lacrosse?’ and whatnot. Things that people don’t know about lacrosse are things that are more intricate to the game and what it takes to be a really good player and especially a defender. It is growing a lot. I’m from the Bay Area. I’ve been here through the growing of lacrosse from when I started in middle school to where it is now. It’s gaining a lot more popularity. I see more and more people out at middle schools playing it. There’s more and more recognition on the west coast. More and more people are getting to know about it, which is really exciting.