Alumnus Haley Yelle graduated in 2017 and went to Texas A&M. While in high school Yelle participated in swim team and NHS.
What have you done after high school?
“After high school I went directly to college,” Yelle said. “I am currently attending Texas A&M to swim and to earn my Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning.”
What made you want to do what you are doing now?
“College was always part of my plans for after high school,” Yelle said. “I never really questioned it, but my idea of what college would be like really changed after I had some successful swimming seasons during high school. At that point I began to focus on college not only to advance my academics and achieve my goal of becoming an architect but to succeed in my sport as well.”
How did what you learn or experience in high school affect you in college and beyond?
“Because I was so active, I learned how to balance my time,” Yelle said. “I rarely had weekends that weren’t filled with swim meets or softball practices, my week days were spent at school and at softball and swimming practices, and any “spare” time I had was spent doing homework, practicing my piano, and volunteering at my church. Although I did enjoy all the extra activities I did, it was stressful and taxing, but college is the same way, especially as an athlete. You rarely get the choice of how to spend your own time because you have so many obligations and responsibilities, but had I not spent my four years in high school doing everything I did, I wouldn’t be able to handle college successfully.”
Explain your job now.
“I am not employed full time during college, but there are many things I do that require commitment and responsibility,” Yelle said. “My swim schedule takes up about 25 hours a week between swim practice, weight lifting, swim meets, physical therapy/rehab, and other team meetings and activities. I am also enrolled as a full time student, so I typically take 13-15 hours of classes each semester. Along with my major (Urban planning), I am minoring in both sustainable architecture and sociology. Evenings are usually spent doing homework, but I am also a representative for my team on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and I take a leadership course as well. Both of those organizations meet once a month and have other responsibilities that go along with them. During the summer I don’t go home like many college students do. I stay in College Station to train, and this summer I will be working as an Aggie Swim Camp Counselor, and I will be an undergraduate research assistant for the A&M Hazards Recovery and Reduction Center.”
What are your plans for the future?
“After I finish my undergraduate degree (and my NCAA eligibility) I plan to get my Masters of Architecture from A&M,” Yelle said. “I have a few ideas of what I’d like to do for a career, but right now I’m really interested in urban revitalization and the issues of gentrification.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“My advice to current high schoolers would be to get involved in as much as you can—AP classes, extracurriculars, sports, volunteering,” Yelle said. “Not only will this help you figure out what you’re passionate about, but it’ll teach you to balance your time and handle responsibility. High school gives you a safety net so that allows you to do all these things and learn. If you wait until college to figure out how to manage your time, it’s going to be so much harder.”