May 15, 2014
Florida State’s Cristian Gonzalez Mendez is a men’s tennis player from Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Throughout the summer as he transitions from a junior to a senior, Cristian will provide fans with an in depth look into the world of tennis both at Florida State and internationally in Spain.
In this week’s blog I would like to tell you more about my story, how I have gotten here and where I want to go next. I am a student-athlete and play tennis for the Florida State Men’s Tennis team. This is only my third year living in the States as I am from Spain. I was born in Madrid but grew up in Santiago de Compostela, Spain with my parents, two sisters and puppy. Since the day I started walking, I was trained to be an athlete. I played both soccer and basketball until I discovered tennis when I was 10 years old. I had a natural talent and love for the sport and ultimately chose tennis as my path to follow.
When I turned 14 years old, I was offered a scholarship to attend IES Sanchez Canton High School, an academy for athletes. There, I not only did well with tennis, but I was also top in my class in academics. I was not sure at that time, but I knew I wanted to continue both my tennis and education post high school. My favorite time during my high school years was traveling the world and competing in tennis tournaments. I played tournaments all around Europe, like in England, France, Austria and Portugal. I even traveled across the ocean to play in Chile.
In spring 2011, I was contacted by Florida State Men’s Tennis head coach Dwayne Hultquist. He offered me the wonderful opportunity to attend FSU and be a part of the team. I visited the school and feel in love with it. The university’s campus is stunning and captivating. The weather in Florida is perfect and more importantly, the people here seemed kind and very friendly. After my visit, I knew that coming to Florida State was the right thing to do. Therefore, I made the tough decision to leave my family, home country and native language to live on the other side of the world. However, it has been a life-changing decision and I could not be any happier here at FSU.
As an international student, I have had to adapt to America, being a college athlete and college student, and to an English-speaking lifestyle. It has not been easy but my family and friends at home and here have helped me a lot through the good, the bad and the ugly.
I am now a senior studying Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information. I really enjoy my classes. College has been a great time for me so far; I love playing for the tennis team, meeting new people, and gaining education and experience in my field of studies. Not only am I an athlete, but I am also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Florida Public Relations Association student chapter and a FSU Sports Information Intern.
Here at FSU, my goals are to continue playing well for the tennis team and keeping its ranking high in the nation, maintain a 3.96 GPA, and gain enough education to pursue my career goal. Ultimately, if I do not pursue a professional tennis career, I want to work for ESPN. I am already taking strides to achieve this career goal by studying PR and working as a Sports Information Intern. Finally, this blog is part of my work as a Sports Information Intern and a step forward toward achieving my professional goals.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading my blog and learning more about me.
I’ll see you again next week,