In The Locker Room with Tennis Star Alandria Bellamy


Curtesy of GoYeo

College third-year and women’s tennis player Alandria Bellamy.

College third-year and women’s tennis player Alandria Bellamy stays busy. Her work ethic has led her to become one of the College’s top women’s tennis players while also maintaining a strong academic standing. While the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered her athletic career, Bellamy refuses to let it knock her off course. Instead, she plans to use a leave during the summer semester to apply her relentless work ethic to another challenge: the MCAT.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


How did your athletic career begin and what led you to play tennis?

I’ve been athletic for as long as I can remember. I used to play a variety of sports throughout elementary and middle school, including swimming and softball. But after I started playing tennis in middle school, I just fell in love with it and it’s been my main sport ever since.

What made you want to play tennis at Oberlin?

I definitely wanted to play college tennis. It served as an outlet for me in high school and I wanted to maintain that balance between academics and athletics throughout college as well. I was sold on Oberlin because, while they understand that academics are top priority, they also provide an environment that allows students to comfortably pursue their sport and academics simultaneously.

How has it been balancing your academic and athletic pursuits?

So far it has been a great experience! It is definitely not easy being on the pre-med track given the rigor of the courses and the amount of non-academic med school requirements that you must complete while being an undergraduate student. In addition to having a high passion for the medical field, you also need a high level of time-management and organizational skills —  especially if you are doing extracurricular activities simultaneously.

What do you do to make that balancing act easier?

I make a weekly schedule that outlines the amount of time I need to allocate for each class to help prevent last-minute studying and assignments. [Procrastinating] is not only risky but stressful — especially when you have two-hour practices four to five days a week and matches nearly every weekend. I also work on maintaining efficient study skills so that I study smarter, not harder. Skimming, for example, saves me a lot of time and stress.

What impact has COVID-19 had on you as a student-athlete?

The coronavirus had a vast impact on my athletic experience at Oberlin. The women’s tennis team barely had a fall or spring season during 2020, and we still barely have a season during the current spring 2021 term. Oberlin decided midway through the semester to allow some match play — however, only players who are currently at Oberlin can participate. If the College would have decided to allow match play from the start of the semester, we would’ve had a full season — and with all of our teammates.

As far as my pre-med journey, I will be behind by one semester as I am taking a personal leave for the upcoming summer term. Since I am currently a third-year, I am assigned the spring and summer 2021 terms which means that my fourth-year starts immediately afterward in the fall. In other words, I would have to take three terms back to back. In addition to this, as the College had offered incredibly fewer courses, I was unable to register for all of the courses I needed for the summer term.

Looking toward the future, what goals do you have for yourself academically or athletically? Do you plan on using your upcoming summer leave to help accomplish these goals?

I do plan to use my summer leave to help accomplish some of my academic goals such as studying for the MCAT, which is the entrance exam for med school. I also plan to work on some of the non-academic med school requirements like volunteer opportunities. As far as athletics, I plan to continue to play tennis and stay in shape via practices and other workouts in preparation for the prospective fall 2021 season.