Megan Alferness Balances Rowing and Civil Engineering

Megan Alferness Balances Rowing and Civil Engineering

Written by Student Assistant Genre McAtee

Megan Alferness (MA) has blossomed on Santa Clara's women's rowing team. Although she's challenged by the sport, Megan reflects on rowing with a glowing outlook and shares with Santa Clara University (SCU) about how rowing has helped her social life stay afloat amidst the busy schedule of a Civil Engineer.


SCU: How did you first get involved in rowing? Did you spend a lot of time in the water as a child?

MA: I first got involved in rowing during my sophomore year here at Santa Clara. I had never really heard much about rowing or been involved in any sort of water sport, and was excited by the idea of trying something completely new and different. I grew up playing sports such as softball and volleyball and found that I really missed being part of a team. Rowing offered the opportunity to stay active, meet new people, and become more involved in the Santa Clara community.


SCU: What makes rowing your favorite sport?

MA: Over the past three years I have grown very fond of this sport, as it challenges you both physically and mentally. There is nothing like the moment right before a race, when the announcer yells, "This is the start, ready go!" and adrenaline is racing through you. But what makes this sport great is my teammates and crew. We are all very close; I mean you have to be when you're stuck in a boat for hours! But this team is so supportive of one another, and has the ability to motivate and push each other to be better and stronger.


SCU: What's the most challenging part of being on the Santa Clara women's rowing team?

MA: I think the most challenging part, for me, has been working through the mental aspect of rowing. From learning a new sport and all the technique that goes a long with it, but also how to keep pushing even when your body is telling you to stop. Rowing requires a lot of personal motivation and drive, because you are solely accountable for how hard you pull.


SCU: How do you make time for rowing while majoring in Civil Engineering?

MA: While Civil Engineering can be a demanding major, I feel that rowing has actually made me a better student by forcing me to manage my time well. When you get up at 5:30 in the morning you have to make sure you get all of your work done during the day because you will be ready to go to sleep by 9! It really makes you think about your priorities, and while a social life may be the first thing to go, I have made amazing friends on the team and in my major.