Her events are the 100 and 200-yard backstroke; her favorite animal, an otter; her favorite color, purple; and her favorite food, anything with cheese and carbs—swimmer Erin Swardenski, ’16, is underway in her third season of swimming for Wittenberg Women’s Swimming and Diving team.
Swardenski, a biology major with a psychology minor, has been swimming since she was six and said that even though swimming started out as something to do with her friends from home, it has since become a major part of her life.
“We, the swim team, are so tired all the time, and it’s a lot of work, but at the same time, we can’t imagine our lives without it,” Swardenski said. “If we didn’t swim, there would be something wrong.”
However, Swardenski wasn’t always so sure about swimming in college. She said that she credits the swim coach, her freshman year roommate and the swim team as a whole for playing a part in her decision to swim at Wittenberg.
“In the end, Wittenberg just kind of fell into place. I realized that normal for me is swimming 25 hours a week with the people who have become my family,” Swardenski said.
Swardenski’s favorite memories with the Wittenberg swim team are ones in which the team spends time together out of the water: hanging out together, having conversations over dinner at the CDR and doing homework together at the library.
In addition to being a member of the swim team, Swardenski is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the Build a Better Wittenberg Committee, the General Education Advisory Committee and SAAC. She is also the vice president of the class of 2016, and a recently-hired tour guide.
A science major with a lot of extracurricular activities, Swardenski said that it does sometimes get hard to manage her time, but her coach’s policy of the swimmers being students before athletes has made it easier.
“It’s very doable to swim and be involved, but I really have to stay on top of things,” Swardenski said. “If I didn’t have my planner with me all the time, I would be a mess.”
When she does have the opportunity to enjoy some free time, Swardenski likes to read for fun, and she said that shows on TLC are her secret addiction. She also enjoys camping with her family; her favorite camping spot—Eldorado National Forest.
“As much as I’m addicted to my phone and laptop and all of my electronics, I really enjoy turning off the world and being able to spend time with the people who I really care about and who care about me,” Swardenski said.