Name: Miranda Malone
Sport: Women’s Soccer
Hometown: Cary, Illinois
Why did you choose UChicago?
I chose UChicago because it offered everything I wanted in my college experience. I was looking for an academically challenging school with a competitive soccer program. To make it even better, I would be able to keep living in Chicago with family close by. During my visits, I got a good sense of the soccer team’s culture, and I felt both excited and comfortable with the idea of being a part of this team.
Favorite moment of your UChicago athletic career?
This is difficult to decide on. I think one of my favorite moments would have to be our Italy trip last year. It was in every aspect an incredible trip that I got to experience with my team. Every day during the trip was exhausting and incredibly hot, but I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything.
Favorite team tradition/activity?
I have always loved our annual team scavenger hunts. Every year, we would make teams that compete to complete tasks and bring things to the seniors in order to get the most points for their team. We always get some hilarious and memorable content out of the scavenger hunts.
What made you fall in love with your sport originally?
I don’t really enjoy individual sports. I’ve only really liked team sports. Soccer stuck with me because I always had more fun playing outside with my teammates instead of feeling cramped indoors. It’s a competitive, beautiful game that I loved to play growing up and watch with my family.
What lessons have you learned through competing in your sport that have stuck with you?
I feel like most of my personality and attitude has developed as a result of soccer or the community I’ve been surrounded by because of soccer. I’ve learned how to deal with failure and loss, how to deal with other people, how to ask for help, and how to let go and have fun among many other lessons. All of which, I believe, has made me into a happier, more capable individual.
What advice would you give to your first-year teammates?
Enjoy everything as much as you can. This school is stressful, and life will continue to be stressful. However, don’t let soccer be a main source of stress. Use soccer as an escape, as a place to have fun because that’s how it should be. So enjoy playing, enjoy being a teammate, and enjoy having a community you can turn to for help.
Favorite UChicago class that you learned the most from and why?
My favorite UChicago class has to be the Psychology and Neurobiology of Stress with Professor Norman. That class was super interesting and surprisingly fun. Despite the class being about stress, it was a class that gave me very little stress!
Which UChicago faculty or staff member made the greatest impact on you and why?
This is a difficult choice to make, but I think I’ll say my Chinese professor Xiaorong Wang. Taking Chinese with her was a great time. I forgot how much I missed studying a language after a couple of years focused mostly on pre-med and neuroscience courses. She made the class super engaging and fun, and I felt like I learned more studying with her for a year than I did studying Chinese in high school for several years.
Favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus has to be either the main quad or Rockefeller Chapel. Whenever my mom would visit for the day, we would make sure we would go to both the quad and Rockefeller Chapel on our walks together. Both are such lovely sights, so I really enjoy walking by them or hanging out near by.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while now. After I graduate, I’ll be focusing on working and building up some more work/life experience before putting together my medical school applications. I also hope to be able to do a little bit of traveling during my gap year.
Outside of your current sport, which sport or activity do you feel like you would excel at the most?
I used to play basketball just as much as I played soccer. However, once it became too much playing both sports, I decided to stick with soccer. So, despite not playing basketball for a while, I think I could do well with some practice.
Favorite Chicago restaurant?
I love Dim Sum. So, I’ll say my favorite restaurant at this point in time is MingHin Cuisine in Chinatown. I know there are probably better restaurants, but I love eating there. I could eat there everyday and still enjoy the meals immensely.
Favorite place you’ve visited?
It has to be the Vatican. Going there on the soccer team’s Italy trip last year was an incredible experience I’ll always remember. The architecture, art, and sights were beautiful. It was also a wonderful experience being able to see where the Pope would give his public sermons. I made sure to take lots of pictures during our tours because I wanted my mother to be able to see how gorgeous it was there despite not being able to visit there.