With only days away from the beloved Beanpot championship, Megan Carter, a senior biology student and member of the women’s ice hockey team, joined us for an exclusive Q&A on her passions on and off the ice.
My name is Megan Carter, and I am a senior studying biology on the pre-med track with a minor in psychology. I came to Northeastern from Milton, Ontario, Canada to pursue my goal of playing NCAA division 1 hockey at a school that I could excel both on the ice and in the classroom. I have been fortunate to utilize Northeastern’s well-known co-op program through two six-month co-op terms at Brigham and Women’s Hospital: one as a medical assistant and my current position as a clinical research assistant.
I come from a big hockey family with both of my younger sisters also playing so we have been lucky to have parents that have constantly been our biggest fans and supporters. My parents will be at the game on Tuesday, so I am looking forward to playing in front of them. They always stream the games from home to support the team, but it’s even more special to have them in the building.
What made you want to pursue an education in science?
One of the main reasons that I decided to pursue an education in science was my exposure to healthcare and physiology at a young age. As a hockey player, I inevitably experienced injuries throughout my career and have encountered many medical professionals including physiotherapists, nurses, doctors, x-ray technicians, etc. I have always been grateful for their work to get me back on the ice and healthy as soon as possible and as I got older, I was more inquisitive about how the body works. I took classes like biology, chemistry, and physics throughout high school and always enjoyed learning more about these topics, which is how I figured out that my passion lies within science.
How do you balance your studies and hockey?
My ability to balance school and hockey stems back to the time management habits that I developed throughout elementary and high school. It has always been important to me to excel on the ice and in the classroom, which has motivated me to prioritize these aspects of my life. When I had the time on my lunch breaks, after school before hockey practice, or on off days, I ensured that I was getting ahead on my homework. Thankfully I had a great support system, for example my parents would drive me to the rink if I needed to study in the car, my friends would hang out with me in the library instead of going out for lunch, and my sisters would do homework with me after school. My support system has expanded at Northeastern through great resources like the Student Athlete Support Services (SASS) and peer tutoring. My teammates and coaches are always there to keep me on track as well. I try to keep my studies and hockey separate so that when I am at the rink I am focused on hockey and when I am outside of the rink, I am focused on schoolwork. This helps me maximize my performance in each area.
Have you been applying any of your learnings in the classroom to your practices on the ice?
Many of the transferable skills that I have developed in the classroom apply to my practices on the ice. Through my work with peers, TAs, tutors, and professors, I have developed my ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with a wide range of people, and take initiative to organize meetings and ask questions. I apply the same skills at the rink on a daily basis with my teammates and coaches. The development of these skills have allowed me to be a dependable leader both on the ice and in the classroom, and I am grateful that my experiences at Northeastern have given me the opportunity to grow as an individual.
What is one piece of advice to future student athletes?
One piece of advice that I would give to future student athletes is to always check in with yourself as a person. The pressure and stress that come with being a student athlete at a top academic institution with nationally ranked athletics programs can become overwhelming at times so it is important that you get adequate sleep, nutrition, and down time to ensure that you can perform your best in any situation. Surround yourself with people that can be honest with you and check in with you when times get tough and allow them to support you in these moments. Northeastern provides a wide range of resources that student athletes can access, including peer tutoring, SASS advisors, sports psychologists, nutritionists, and athletic therapists, and they have all helped me keep my mind and body prepared to handle the workload of school and athletics.
Is there anything else you would like to share about the Beanpot or your NU experience?
The Beanpot is a special time of year for Northeastern’s hockey programs to showcase their teams in front of Northeastern students and faculty, and the city of Boston as a whole. Winning the Beanpot in 2020 has been one of the most predominant highlights in my hockey career and I encourage as many Northeastern students as possible to come support our teams this week in the championship games. We loved having the Doghouse packed last year for the Beanpot at Matthews Arena and we appreciate all the support that we receive. I promise that attending the Beanpot will be a highlight of your Northeastern experience that you will never forget.
Best of luck to the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams competing in the Beanpot championships this year!
Featured Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University and Matthew Modoono