Julia Brazeau ’22, a member of the swimming and diving team, has been keeping herself busy this fall semester. Brazeau, who is originally from Minnesota, is currently living near campus with three graduate students from Princeton’s architecture program. When asked why she chose to stay in Princeton for the semester, she explained, “I couldn’t be away from the atmosphere for so long. I fell in love with Princeton the minute I got to campus, and being away for a whole year was just going to be too hard.”
Brazeau’s love for Princeton is reflected in her involvement on campus beyond athletics. In addition to training and working towards her degree as an English concentrator, she is also a Peer Academic Adviser (PAA) for Whitman College, a writer (on hiatus) for The Daily Princetonian, and a worker for Labyrinth Books. Brazeau’s key to balancing her responsibilities, now virtually, comes down to time management: “As important as it is always, time management is even bigger when it’s virtual. I have a Google Calendar that I never close just to make sure that I have everything done and to keep myself on track. I like to schedule things for early in the morning too, so that I’m up and moving.”
Four to five times a week, Brazeau will spend a couple of hours at the LifeTime gym either lifting, swimming, or both. While pools are open in New Jersey, there are several restrictions. “You have to stay six feet apart at all times, even in the pool,” Brazeau explained. “So you can’t really pass people.”
Although training this fall looks a lot different than training in a regular season, Brazeau and her team have been doing the best they can. To maintain a competitive mindset while also bringing excitement to training, the team has turned goal-setting into a race.
“Within the team, we all set about four or five goals. We usually compete with each other to see who can get to them first. It’s not the same of course, but the competitive atmosphere has been pretty well-maintained over Zoom,” Brazeau explained.
Brazeau commented on another highlight of the team bonding experience thus far: Lap Chats. “We FaceTime a randomized member of the team every week, and we catch up with them to see how they’re doing. It’s really fun, and it allows us to really get to know the new members of the team!”
In light of the recent news released by the Ivy League on the cancellation of fall and winter sports, Brazeau commented, “That was really disappointing. I know I’m not the only one who was disappointed because we’ve put so much work in to maintain our excellence and uphold the goals of our team as well as the athletic department. It was a really harsh reality that we’re not out of the woods just yet.”
Despite the less-than-ideal news, Brazeau remains positive about the future. She is primarily looking forward to training with her teammates again, so they can “race against each other, rather than against the clock.” For now, Brazeau will continue to make the best of what she can: pizzas for birthday dinners with her roommates and lots of movie marathons.