Freshman business administration major Simone Bednarik, a women's hockey player from Illinois and in the college's Honors Program, recently had an unparalleled experience playing for the Slovakia national team in Europe for a chance to play in the Winter Olympics.

Q. Why do you choose Oswego?

A. A lot of things I could say, the rink is beautiful it's the first thing. And then obviously coach (Mark) Digby. He's a great coach. Talking to him over Zoom and everything when I was overseas. I like the location, I like the people and everything just like stood out to me. So yeah I think Oswego is really the best choice for me.

Q. What made you want to choose business administration?

A. Oswego's business program has two years where you don't have to know what you want to do and then you can decide, so that's kinda what I'm doing. But already after my first semester, I'm leaning towards marketing. I think now second semester starting, I got the hang of it and all my teachers were great. I actually learned a lot this semester.

Q. Tell us about being in the Honors Program.

A. So me and two other girls, Riley and Lindsey, are in the Honors Program from the women's hockey team, and I really value that and they do too. And I know it's more difficult and we get more difficult classes but we like having challenge and having more challenging classes. Casey (Raymond, associate director of the Honors Program) has been great. He's on top of things all the time, and he's come into our classroom to talk sometimes, but he's always responding to his emails quick. He helped all three of us get the classes we wanted for this semester and last semester. So he's really on top of things. He's great.

Q. What are some important considerations for being a student-athlete?

A. There are a lot of like time commitments and you have to have really good time management to be a student-athlete --making my own schedule, knowing when I have to take a break to eat before school or before my class and when I have to go to practice right away, so it's like really setting a routine.

Q. What was it like to play for Slovakia in the Olympic qualifiers in Europe?

A. It was quick. It was one day I knew I was going, and the next day I was on the plane and was there playing. The second I landed I took a cab to the rink and practiced the second I got there. I didn't even have time to think really like what was going on, it didn't really set in for me until like two weeks in when we had our first game. I played defense, and I was not used to playing defense. And when they got there they put me on defense right away so I had two weeks to kinda get into it. I was scared but I think I did pretty well, and I think I showed up and I did what I had to do as a D. And that was another thing that I'll never forget is playing D in one of the most important like tournaments in my life.

Q. Did you take any lessons from that experience?

A. That was a real challenge for me but I think, think it worked out. Sticking with it even through like the hardest times, it got me to experience things that I never thought I'd experience like traveling across the world in the middle of my first semester in college. If you really love what you're doing, even if it's not a sport it can be art or something else, but just sticking with it and be true, true to who you are.