As part of our series highlighting the return of seven spring student-athletes for their final year of eligibility, Babson Athletics recently sat down with softball pitcher Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to talk about the end of the 2020 season and what led her back to graduate school. Stock began the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program on August 31 and is planning to earn her degree in May.
Babson Athletics (BA): What was your mindset and how were you were feeling when last season was canceled and you were forced to finish your senior spring at home?
Brooke Stock (BS): I was upset and emotional for myself and my fellow seniors because we wouldn't be able to finish the softball season as it was something I had put my heart and soul into. I was also upset at how abruptly our college experience ended. Not living on campus with all my friends and not getting to take part in a lot of Babson senior traditions that are important parts of your life.
BA: Did you pass up a job to return to school?
BS: I had a few offers but they were for jobs I didn't really want and didn't think they would help set me up for a career I wanted. Because of this, I started thinking about options such as grad school.
BA: Why and how did grad school become an option you started to think about?
BS: Grad school for me was a very last-minute decision. Honestly I didn't even officially apply until two weeks before the deadline in early July. It started to become a realistic option the more I talked to my peers and mentors who supported the idea. It wasn't until after talking more with my parents, who supported the decision, that I finally make the choice to return.
BA: When weighing your decision, did you talk with parents, coaches and teammates, or was there someone else who was influential in helping you reach your decision?
BS: When I decided to apply to school I mainly talked to my parents, JP (classmate and teammate Jacqueline Paul) and some others that were going to grad school. When I was accepted, I called coach Canan and he was super supportive and really excited about having me back.
BA: When the season was abruptly canceled last March I'm sure you thought your collegiate playing career was over. Returning to play as a grad student in some ways gives you a second chance so what is your mentality in planning for the 2021 season?
BS: I'm really grateful that I get to come back and part of a new team. I know it's going to be different but I'm really excited just to be coming back to be able to play, to be able to learn more and go to school, and be part of Babson's community because it's such an awesome place.
BA: As a senior I know it had to be hard to find closure back in the spring. Will attending grad school and hopefully playing in the spring give you closure for your time at Babson?
BS: My mentality for the upcoming season is one of gratitude. When my senior season was cut short I had accepted that I would never play again, but now that I have the opportunity I'm just really grateful I get to. I know many other senior athletes who didn't get to have a final season will never get the closure I will get to have. JP and I are lucky to have this opportunity, and going into this season I just want to accomplish everything we hoped we could in 2020.