Hey friends! My name is Laura Shoopman, the host of this account. I am currently in my fourth year of college studying Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Belmont University. expectations

Here is my story!


All my life, I have been head and shoulders taller than those my age. Now, at 21 years old, I proudly stand at 6’2. Growing up taller than kids my age led to many different insecurities. That is… until I found volleyball. 

Volleyball quickly became an avenue where my height was seen as an advantage and a gift. The game brought confidence, purpose, friends, fun, games, and countless memories. I have now spent 12 years of my life playing the sport I love, but as I have gotten older, the game I loved turned into an internal battle. Additional pressures and thoughts rose to the surface and began impacting my play.


“I miss home.”

“Will they like me?” 

“Am I good enough?”

“There is too much on my plate.”

“I don’t know if I can do this for four years”

And those are just some… the list goes on.

Comparison expectations 

Don’t stop just yet, there was the constant comparison of myself with the 15+ other teammates with academics, athletic ability, body shape, size, strength, nutrition, commitment, dedication, and so forth. 

The pressure to be perfect on and off the court made me feel inadequate to the expectations I had set for myself, and the expectations that were set for me. This led to the fear of failure and disappointment, which kept me from being my best.

But the Lord is with you wherever you go! For myself, that meant starting fresh at Belmont University. I transferred mid-year and spent the Spring 2020 semester immediately playing with the team for my sophomore COVID season. 

My transition to BU was a very difficult time. Between masks, COVID rules, new teammates, new coaches, quarantine, quarantine, and more quarantine, I struggled to build community and solid relationships with those around me. I felt isolated and wanted to do anything I could to be liked and accepted rather than hold true to myself. 


The process of building a firm community took many hard conversations, tears, and lots of time, but when you find your people, you know it, feel it, and the vibes are good! Getting involved with on campus opportunities such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athlete Mentorship Program, Belmont Athletic Marketing, going on a mission trip, and quite frankly… speaking to people in class has opened doors for myself and led to a deeper sense of belonging at BU.

I believe that community has such a large impact on your ability to thrive no matter what life stage you are in. Sometimes it takes reevaluating yourself and your circumstances to make the necessary changes in order for you to find your community and flourish!

The struggles I have faced on and off the court, in and out of the classroom have shaped me into the person I am today. Seeing the personal growth I have made in so far in college and will continue to mold me into a better person.

I Am____

I am more than a volleyball player, student athlete, and point scorer. I am a God-fearing daughter, sister, and friend. I’m driven, honest, loving, and respectful and I strive to be generous, sincere, compassionate, trustworthy, and responsible. I believe that my performance on the court is unrelated to the love God has for me.   

Beyond The Net, I am Unconditionally Loved!

Follow Laura