Kaitlin Barrer Readjusts to Oberlin Life, Lacrosse
Kaitlin Barrer did what many Oberlin College students do each semester: study abroad. The junior women’s lacrosse player was studying in France this past fall and returned this semester with a new world perspective and a desire to get back to playing the sport she loves.
Barrer, or “Brrr” to those who know her, spent last semester in a small town in France where she stayed with a host family—a married couple and their two small children. She found the family through a field hockey teammate, senior Sam Krykostas, who did the same program last spring. Barrer needed to brush up on her French quickly, as the family knew only a few words of English.
“Actually, I had a nightmare where I discovered that the family was fluent in English and Sam was there and they all teased me about learning French,” Barrer said, trying to explain the language barrier.
Overall, her best experience abroad was not in France but her trip to the land of her ancestors, Ireland. Barrer first went when she was very young and only remembers her sister screaming on the plane and spilling orange juice everywhere. She had been there two other times before this fall with her family.
“The trips with my family were fun, but I also enjoyed the independence and time alone I had,” said Barrer.
She stayed with family members who still live in Ireland and got to see where she comes from in a new light.
While the time away was good, Barrer is very optimistic about her return to Oberlin. “The best thing about being back has to be speaking English,” Barrer expressed with much relief.
Knowing the language, however, does not necessarily make the return to life at Oberlin easy. “I had to write a ten page paper last week and I thought it would be easy. It kicked my ass!” exclaimed Barrer, who cited the academic challenges of Oberlin as the toughest part of her return.
The most important part of her return, though, is the upcoming lacrosse season. Barrer believes her skill level is equal to what it was at the end of last season, and she also feels that the team has changed in a positive way and has many reasons to look forward to the season.
“We have a really good freshman class. We are a very attractive team. I feel women athletes are intimidated by looks, especially highly attractive opponents. We even have a team hair dress coordinator, sophomore Grace Eginton, who specializes in ribbons. She can be contracted to other teams,” joked Barrer.
Besides the team’s stunning good looks, Barrer feels there are important changes that will have an effect on the season. “We have two new goalies; two new, very energetic coaches; and [sophomore] Faye Hipsman is overcoming and staying optimistic after a second knee surgery in the fall. Faye’s a big inspiration because of her courage and willingness to stay positive. This is the most positive lacrosse team I have ever been on. As long as we maintain the positive attitude we will be able to overcome any obstacle, win or lose.”