COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Whitney Robertson enjoyed a highly successful golf career at Clarksville High School, so when she signed with coach Polk Brown to continue her playing career and earn her education at Tennessee Tech, the odds were good that she would add to that success as a Golden Eagle.
But the move from high school to college can sometimes be a daunting task. Not everyone makes a smooth transition, despite the best efforts of the institution.
In Whitney's case, however, the transition was no problem. In fact, she flourished. It's a path that didn't surprise Brown.
"Her personality is outstanding; she was able to adjust to the college lifestyle immediately," Brown said. "She's such a personable young lady, and I believe that's why it was so easy for her to make the transition from high school to college, be away from home, and make friends easily in addition to her teammates.
"As far as golf is concerned, the thing that impressed me so much about her is the peace of mind she carries while out on the course," he added. "The first few weeks I was around her, I realized that nothing really seemed to bother her on the course. She really had an acceptance of the fact that she was going to occasionally hit poor shots, which is paramount to being successful during the course of a round. She just had that certain grit about her. She is always determined and she knows how to put adversity behind her after going through it while playing."
In her first year as a college student at Tech, Robertson posted a solid GPA of 3.70 while beginning coursework toward her major in exercise science/pre-physical therapy. On the course, she had the low average on the team and was named the Golden Eagle Most Valuable Player, in addition to earning a spot on the OVC all-newcomer team. She tallied five Top 10 finishes and two Top 5 efforts, collecting All-Tournament honors at the OVC Championship. She also shared the team's Impact Award.
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During her prep career, she earned four letters in golf under
Vicki Moncrief and also received two more letters in softball under
Joe Warren while at Clarksville High School.
As a member of the golf team, she helped win back-to-back TSSAA Class AAA State Championships in 2011 and 2012, and led her team to three consecutive district and regional titles as a sophomore, junior, and senior. Individually, she was an all-state selection in each of her final two seasons at CHS, finishing sixth at the TSSAA Class AAA State Championship Tournament her junior season and fourth as a senior.
A member of National Honor Society, she was awarded the Point of Pride Award in both 2011 and 2012, and also earned the Excellent Student Athlete Award.
She enjoyed plenty of success on the junior circuit as well, winning seven TGA Junior Tour tournaments including first place at the 2012 Toyota Tournament of Champions.
So, with that background, it came as no surprise that her transition into being a collegiate student-athlete went so well. She reflected on adjusting to college life as a freshman with a post on Facebook.
Here are Whitney's words:
As I wrap up my freshman year at Tennessee Tech, I'm reflecting on a few things I learned in my first year.
1. Making friends is extremely easy if you just be yourself.
2. Planners are a necessity.
3. Naps are a precious, precious gift.
4. Say yes. A lot. Pull yourself so far from your comfort zone; you won't regret it.
5. But also understand that "No" is a complete sentence and doesn't need explaining.
6. Toilet paper runs out FAST.
7. Playing Trash Can Jenga is not as fun as it sounds.
8. Call your parents frequently.
9. Invest time in getting to know acquaintances personally.
10. Old fashioned mail is extremely heart-warming to receive.
11. It's completely okay to go to class in the clothes you slept in (I think).
12. Get to know the international students.
13. Get involved on campus. I mean it.
14. You will EVENTUALLY remember how to get to Walmart from campus.
15. Stay in touch with people back home.
16. Saying goodbye never gets easier.
17. TRUST GOD'S PLAN IS WAY BETTER THAN YOURS WILL EVER BE.
18. A year seems like a long time, until you blink and its time to pack up the dorm.
19. A year can also seem like a short time. Until you stop and look around and realize all the relationships you've formed and all the memories you have of the year and you start to question how a whole year could have possibly passed.
20. When it's all over, you'll want to go back and do it again because despite it being the craziest, scariest time of your life, it was sort of beautiful and liberating.