We recently interviewed Laurel Springs Alumna Monica Puig, Class of 2012 Laurel Springs graduate, pro tennis player, Olympian, and Indiana University East communications major. This August, Monica will make made her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro. She represented Team Puerto Rico, and competed in the Women’s singles tennis event. Last Saturday, Monica shocked the world by defeating Germany’s Angelique Kerber, in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. She won the first Olympic Gold Medal for Puerto Rico.
Monica talked to us about her Laurel Springs experience, her preparation for the Olympics, and what she is planning to pursue after college and tennis. To learn more about Monica’s amazing journey, read our school blog. Congratulations, Monica!
Reflecting back on her experiences at Laurel Springs School
Monica chose Laurel Springs School for its flexibility when she was in Middle School as she pursued her dreams of becoming a pro tennis player. “Homeschooling with Laurel Springs was a meaningful opportunity that helped me pursue my dreams. As an aspiring young athlete, I traveled quite often and missed a lot of school. Completing my high school education was a priority for me and continuing my dream of becoming a professional athlete was another priority. Being able to do both was amazing!”
When asked what she thinks is the biggest misconception about online school, she shared that most people think it’s easier to manage than traditional school. She credits online school for her growing independence and resourcefulness at a young age.
Monica shared a word of advice for current Laurel Springs students: “Always believe in yourself and your dreams. Trust in your ability to be able to juggle busy life schedules and learn as much as you can in school. Cherish every moment in life because time really does fly!”
Looking to the future and pursuing her dreams
In 2010, Monica went pro while continuing to pursue her education through Laurel Springs School. As a graduate of the Laurel Springs Class of 2012, she went on to attend Indiana University East, her top choice college, and is continuing to hone her talents on their women’s tennis team.
“My favorite thing about Indiana University East is how flexible it is to study and how they make it easy for me to work while on the road! I took time to focus and establish myself in my career before starting university. When I finished high school I had just turned pro and life on tour was too hectic to juggle school. Now that everything is much more settled I can handle earning my degree as well as a full schedule as a professional athlete.”
Monica’s future plans include earning her degree in Communications and continuing her tennis career. Upon retirement from tennis, she would like to work with one of the top broadcasting stations for tennis such as ESPN, Tennis Channel, or ESPN Deportes.
Her road to Rio and the Olympic Games
Currently, a typical day for Monica is full of different activities. From playing matches in tournaments to training for upcoming events, tennis takes up about 80% of her day. She also has to squeeze fitness training and mental training into the mix. The remaining 20% of her day is spent on schoolwork and rest.
When asked how she prepared for the upcoming Olympic Games, Monica shared, “Preparing for Rio was probably the most exciting time in my life! When I finally learned that I was selected to compete in Rio, I cried and got goosebumps all over! It has always been a dream of mine to participate in the Olympics, and I am so excited that at 22 years old I have this chance! To prepare, I have been practicing extremely hard and working on every aspect of my game as well as enjoying this incredible journey!”
Monica shared with us that after Rio the work continues since she is still in season on the Women’s Tennis Association tour and needs to prepare for the US Open. The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be something she remembers for the rest of her life.
Congratulations on your accomplishments, Monica! We look forward to cheering you on during the Olympic Games and throughout your future career.