Name: Ruthie MitchellSport: Women’s SoccerHometown: Davis, Calif. Major: Biochemistry
Why did you choose UChicago? I chose UChicago mainly because the culture of the soccer team seemed great here. I visited campus a couple of times before deciding to apply to UChicago, and the team was always so fun and welcoming. I was also looking for a balance between athletics and academics, and saw that UChicago provided excellent opportunities in both areas. Chicago appealed to me as a location because it is an exciting, world-class city!
Favorite moment of your UChicago athletic career? I have many fond memories of my athletic career at UChicago, but one of my favorites was from the last game of my senior year. We were losing to WashU 1-0 for most of the game, but came back to tie the game in the last 10 minutes with a great team goal! I was so happy and will always remember celebrating – it felt amazing to end the season on a high note with a solid comeback. Of course, it was awesome to keep the team’s streak of not losing to WashU that started with my freshman season!
Favorite team tradition/activity? I love our tradition of a spaghetti dinner and freshman skit at the end of preseason. The seniors cook dinner for everyone, and the freshmen do a skit impersonating the seniors – who they met for the first time only a few weeks before. I always absolutely die laughing.
What made you fall in love with your sport originally? My dad coached my sister and I from when we were five years old until we were about 13. I loved soccer because it was a way to spend time with my dad, sister, and friends while running around outside. As I got older, I loved the team aspect and technical side of the sport.
What lessons have you learned through competing in your sport that have stuck with you?I’ve learned how to work together with many people with lots of different skills and personalities toward a group goal. I’ve learned how valuable it is to have a community and support network. And I’ve learned how to simultaneously take something seriously and have fun with it!
What advice would you give to your first-year teammates? I would tell them that four years of college go by really quickly and to try to live in the moment and enjoy it! I would say to remember that playing soccer is mostly about having fun and spending time with your friends and teammates.
Favorite UChicago class that you learned the most from and why? I really enjoyed a creative writing workshop class that I took with Professor Sharon Pomerantz. (I thought it counted for the art requirement – it didn’t, but I liked it and took it anyway.) It was a beginning fiction class about short story writing, and we read lots of great short stories. We also wrote and revised our own story with the class!
Which UChicago faculty or staff member made the greatest impact on you and why? I want to thank our team’s athletic trainer, Rachael Hewson, for bringing me back from an ACL tear and reconstruction surgery. She helped me with PT exercises and general encouragement, and I could not have recovered without her! With her help, I was healthy in time to play in every UAA game my senior season. Rachael is a lovely person and amazing trainer and our team was so lucky to have her.
Favorite place on campus? I love the Hutchinson Courtyard (behind Pret). In the spring and fall, the trees are beautiful and it is a lovely, quiet area to eat lunch or do some reading. In the winter, the trees are lit up with lights that make you feel cozy.
Favorite thing to do in the city? I love going downtown for random small concerts and comedy shows, or for a day of brunch and thrift shopping. A walk along the river during the warmer months is always nice, too.
What are your post-graduation plans? I am actually planning to come back for the fall of 2023 to play a fifth season of soccer for UChicago. After graduating in December of 2023, I plan to work as a research technician at a university or for a biotech company until I decide to go to graduate or professional school.
Outside of your current sport, which sport or activity do you feel like you would excel at the most? I love long-distance running, as well as playing basketball and volleyball for fun.
Favorite Chicago restaurant? Downtown: Coalfire Pizza, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Carbon, Bru Coffee, Parlor Pizza. Hyde Park: Cafe 53, Cedar’s, Strings, Nella.
Favorite place you’ve visited? Vienna, Austria during study abroad spring of my junior year!