Arriving at Meredith College with a passion for health, wellness, and human performance, Sarah Arbes, ’19, knew she wanted to pursue a career in that field. Uncertain of the exact area, Sarah leaned on the support of her professors and took on different jobs and internships to help find her path.
“My professors have pushed me in every way possible. My adviser knows I have been all over the place with a post-graduation plan, but she was always supportive,” said Sarah. “What I love the most about Meredith is that the professors go beyond their title. They are mentors who I can go to for anything and everything.”
As an exercise and sports science (ESS) major and a member of the Meredith lacrosse team, Sarah found opportunities to gain experience that combined both of her passions. She spent time as a personal trainer in the Lowery Fitness Center and served as an intern with The Strength Feed.
“During my internship, I not only became physically strong, but I mentally became empowered as a female in a traditionally ‘male’ field,” said Sarah. “My coach and adviser put my strengths to the test, literally. My knowledge was tested in many forms, along with my own faith in myself. He challenged me to come out of my comfort zone and embrace my leadership skills, education, and confidence.”
Sarah also spent a summer as head speed, agility, and conditioning coach for The Alpha Female Athlete, an all-female middle and high school travel lacrosse program. She has also gained experience as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Sport HQ in Apex, N.C., served as head lacrosse coach for Red Devils United, and was a group exercise trainer for the company gym at Baker Roofing in Raleigh.
Throughout her experiences, Sarah has developed a strength that she carries into the classroom, on the lacrosse field, and in life. Academically, she is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Kappa Omicron Nu honor societies. She has earned numerous accolades for her lacrosse efforts, including Academic All-Conference, First Team All-Conference for defense, All-Tournament Team for defense and midfield, and she was named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll.
“The best part about being a student-athlete is being a part of something bigger than myself,” said Sarah. “As an ESS student with a passion for health and exercise, I enjoy coaching lacrosse and strength and conditioning for high schoolers. It’s not just Meredith lacrosse, it’s what Meredith lacrosse has embedded into me as an athlete that has guided me to want to teach others what I have learned.”
A true test of strength came during her freshman year when her grandmother passed away while Sarah was in Alabama for a lacrosse game. It was the first game of her collegiate career and she had spent months prior helping her mother and aunt take care of her grandmother.
“Thankfully, I was surrounded by my teammates and coaches who were all so supportive, which helped ease the pain of the reality,” said Sarah. “I learned that the Meredith community is filled with the most compassionate and helpful faculty and staff who were ready to help me work through this tough time.”
After graduation, Sarah would like to expand her education within the field of health sciences and human performance while teaching others. After attending the National Strength and Conditioning Association conference with one her professors, she was reassured of her interest in the field. She plans to take the strength and conditioning specialist certification exam and apply at Rex Wellness Center as a wellness coordinator before obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching.
“Looking back on my freshman year, I am not the same lost, sensitive person that I once was,” said Sarah. “There are so many challenges in life that get thrown at you whether you are ready or not, and knowing who you are and what you are worth makes you so much stronger.”
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