Finding Fencing: Rachel Wakefield

Finding Fencing: Rachel Wakefield



– The first time I
dressed up in all white, it just felt so surreal, like I was doing something I
never thought I'd be doing. It just felt so much cooler than any sport I had tried to do before. Just focus on the opponent. Nothing else matters, nobody else is here. I come from a small,
rural town in Maryland, Forest Hill, it's in the northern part, it's right next to Pennsylvania actually. Being surrounded by people who one, are really, really smart and also have a really
big desire to learn, that's what really drew me to Tech. So I didn't know much
about Atlanta besides what we learned in American History class. Coming to campus was a
big, oh wow, I'm in a city. My first couple weeks at Georgia Tech were pretty miserable. Five states away from my
closest friends and family and I knew nobody. For the first time in
my life, I was alone, and I hated it. Really lonely and kinda desperate, and it really took a
toll, and it wasn't easy and it affected my classes
a little bit at first too. And I only really had one close friend and one night, we were
getting dinner together and she said, I'm going to
fencing practice tonight, do you want to come? And I thought, no, that's
ridiculous, I don't fence. That's for Olympians. And I ended up meeting the fencing club and finding that they
were more of a community than a group of athletes
that just practiced together. And they were like a
family, and I thought, I want to be a part of that. Your first touch in épée, it feels good. But the first time you get a point because you did something really
well, it feels amazing. It feels like you've really come a far way and it feels like you can go even further.

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