By Carley Crain
Not many people at Springfield College can say they are from Norway, but Fabian Jensen can.
Recently transferring from Wesleyan College in North Carolina, Jensen is excited for his time at Springfield College these next few years. A sophomore in the business management program, he’s also a member of the tennis team.
Jensen grew up in Stavanger, one of the oldest cities in southwestern Norway. The large city is known for its beautiful coastal landscape, parks, and hiking trails.
Growing up, Jensen spent a lot of time outside with his friends, from riding bikes to playing tennis. He loved the healthy environment and safety that he felt when living in Norway. His family still resides in Stavanger, so he goes back home and visits during vacations.
Picking up a tennis racquet for the first time at age six, Jensen fell in love with the sport and has not turned back. Growing up, he brought his talent to junior international competitions.
When looking at colleges and going through the admissions process, Jensen knew he wanted to continue his tennis career. He also knew he wanted to travel abroad for college, and experience different places and cultures of the world. He started his college experience in North Carolina at Wesleyan College, but decided to transfer to Springfield this semester.
Transitioning to life in America has certainly been an adjustment, although Jensen has enjoyed his experiences so far.
“I have been here for a year already, so I am adjusted,” Jensen said. “Of course I miss the Norwegian nature and my family and friends, etc. But overall I like it here. I have also traveled around the world… This was new but not shocking.”
Jensen has displayed a type of courage that not everyone has. Coming to America meant a whole new life full of questions, change, and unknowns. Leaving his family and friends was tremendously difficult, similar to what every college student has to deal with.
Jensen did not only leave his friends and family behind; he left his home, his country.
He left behind his childhood and everything he was accustomed to.
Jensen was inspired to come to Springfield College from reading about the story of James Naismith. Naismith invented the game of basketball at Springfield College, when the school was still known as the International YMCA Training School. Springfield became the “birthplace of basketball, and in 1959 the city of Springfield also became home to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Jensen enjoys the community and culture that Springfield College offers, along with its core values. .. He was also very fond of the tennis coaches and the team, which was important to him when choosing a new institution.
“I heard about the school as I had read about Naismith in the past and knew he had gone here. The school seemed like a very tight group of people, which was something I was looking for. Tennis was of course a big factor when deciding to come to Springfield. I talked with the coach and it made the decision so much easier,” Jensen said. “Springfield has been great so far, people are really nice and very welcoming. Food is okay and I get along with a lot of people. Classes have been fun and so far I like my teachers a lot. Tennis is fun.”.
The Pride tennis team recently started practices and had their first match of the season on Sept. 15 at the Nichols Invitational. So far, Jensen loves being a part of the team.
“Getting to spend time with my amazing teammates is so much fun! I have only gotten to know them for a little while, but I think this team is great. Since tennis is such a team sport, it is important that you have a good team to back you up,” he said.
At the Nichols Invitational, Jensen played strong and tough. In the first round of the tournament, He, along with his doubles partner,doubles partner, Micheal Kendrick, won 8-1 against Umass Boston. They both moved on to the semifinals, however eventually falling to Nichols. However, he had an amazing first match with his new team and took away many valuable lessons.
“(Jensen) and his teammates competed well in our first competition. Fabian and freshman Michael Kendrick paired up to play doubles and were able to have some success winning their first round match and competed really well in their last match. The first tournament competition for us this past weekend at Nichols was exactly what we needed as a team. We are excited for the season,” Pride head coach Mike Louis said.
Jensen will be found on the tennis courts for the Pride as he continues his journey in America.
Photo courtesy of Irene Rotondo