Note: The following appears in the Georgia Tech gameday football program.
College is a time when a person gets to branch out and experience new things. This holds true for Maura Chozick. The senior from Byram, N.J. is a member of Clemson’s rowing team, and that in itself is a byproduct of her trying a new experience.
Chozick did not begin rowing until her freshman year of college. Determined to make new friends, she sat next to different people every day in the dining halls. One day, she chose to sit next to a future teammate who asked her if she would like to go to rowing tryouts with her. Chozick went and fell in love with the sport, returning the next day and beyond.
Chozick’s journey to the water began on the field. In high school, she received all-conference honors in both soccer and lacrosse as well as playing basketball. Being a multi-sport athlete was a great experience for Chozick, as she enjoyed the teamwork and variety during a daily workload.
“All of the other sports I played were a different kind of teamwork. Being a multi-sport athlete, you are able to branch out. Doing the same exact thing every day can get tedious and boring. I played soccer, and then when winter came. Basketball gave me some cross-training and a different view of working out.”
Playing multiple sports helped Chozick with her transition to rowing, mainly in terms of mentality.
“Our coaches have told us, ‘You can’t teach aggression.’ Playing other sports shows you that sometimes you really have to go for it, and rowing is definitely a sport where, especially when you’re new to it in college, you have to put yourself out there and go for it.”
Chozick has also achieved success in the classroom. She was named a 2019 CRCA National Scholar-Athlete, an honor that she was happy to receive.
“I thought that was really cool. I actually found out from one of my coaches congratulating me before I had even heard that I’d received it. I thought it was cool because they really stress that we are student-athletes. It’s awesome to be able to say that I was an athlete, but that I was also able to excel in school.”
Outside of athletics and academics, she has gone skydiving over 75 times. An adventurous person, she began her venture into skydiving with a friend in an attempt to try something new.
“My best friend lived across the hall from me and he knocked on my door one morning and said, ‘Hey, want to go skydiving?’ I’m not really known for saying ‘no’ to adventure, so I went for it.”
Wanting a challenge, Chozick kept going back to the point where she could control the whole experience herself.
“The first couple of times you go, it’s static line, which means the parachute pulls for you. You have to go many times before you can do it by yourself. I wanted to get to the point where the entire fall, all of it, was completely in my control.”
A special education major, Chozick is also heavily involved with ClemsonLIFE, an enriching experience that has helped her better realize what she would like to do with her future.
“Coming into school, I was really set on elementary or middle school. ClemsonLIFE has taught me that I definitely want to work with older students.”
Chozick will stay at Clemson an extra year to complete her master’s degree, and then she will opt for new experiences, either entering the Peace Corps or traveling abroad to teach English.