Sept. 28, 2000
By Alayne Ruzyla
Ashley Halter is a perfect example of how a student can handle academics and athletics at Florida State University. Her attitude, beliefs, and performance have all led her to become a dynamic leader the Seminoles are eager to call their own. Through hard work, dedication, and a belief in herself, Halter hopes to make this season one of Florida State’s best yet.
Ashley is one of Florida State’s hardest working players for a reason. While other seniors’ priorities may vary, Ashley’s strong work ethic has allowed her to remain on-task and focused throughout her four years as a Seminole. She has produced both on and off the field, which has enabled her to become a valued asset to her teammates, friends, and family.
“I think I have a good work ethic,” Halter said. ” I don’t like it when I don’t succeed and I tend to get really mad at myself when I don’t perform up to my expectations. That can be a bad thing and a good thing at the same time. I consider myself an athlete, but I have to work hard to match the natural talent level of some of our opponents.”
Ashley understands it is this work ethic that has allowed her to become competitive as both an athlete and a student. She believes the pressure she puts on herself has consistently allowed her to do well in school and sports, even if she has to endure some kidding from her teammates as a result of her near obsessive study habits.
“I think it helps me to put that pressure on myself,” a determined Halter said. “It’s weird because my parents never put that pressure on me. They always told me to just do my best, so it doesn’t come from them. I think it’s just something that comes from inside of me. It just pushes me to work harder.”
This sense of determination has definitely paid off for Ashley. She spent her junior year appearing in 19 matches, which included 12 starts and two game-winning goals, something she and her team can be grateful for. It may also be the reason she is considered a team leader and has appeared in all nine matches this season.
“I think I have to step out and work hard 110 percent of the time to prove that I can play,” Ashley said.
With that type of attitude, it is no wonder Ashley has faired so well as a student-athlete, a balancing act that has become so difficult for many in the past.
Ashley has grown up a lot since she began attending FSU almost four years ago. She has learned to appreciate the interconnection between working hard and achieving success. She has learned that having a positive attitude about anything that you wish to accomplish is beneficial in the long run. This has especially rung true, she has discovered, in her academic life.
“Academics are like so many things in life in the sense that what you put in is what you are going to get out of it,” Halter believes. “If you work hard, you will get a good education and succeed in your life.”
Throughout her college life, Ashley has used this belief system and has executed it to her advantage. At the end of this year, she will receive her degree in Business Management.
“I think I would like to go into sports management as a career. I would really like to work for a professional sports franchise,” Ashley stated. “I want to stay involved in sports since I have been involved in athletics my
She is also considering going on to graduate school and possibly getting a graduate assistantship in athletics. She’d like to stay involved with soccer, the sport having been a major part of her life over the past 15 years.
These goals shouldn’t be too far out of reach for the self-determined Halter, especially one who has already achieved many of her dreams. Yet, Ashley doesn’t attribute all her achievements to herself.
“My parents taught me the value of an education,” Ashley said. People look at how hard you work and they appreciate that. The sense of accomplishment is a reward in itself, and good grades and job opportunities also usually come with that.”
Life in Tallahassee
As most people tend to be, Ashley is partial to her hometown. She is quite certain that Atlanta is where she would eventually like to end up, near her family. Though she is not against visiting new places and experiencing ‘new things’.
At the same time, Ashley has learned to appreciate the advantages to living in a smaller city. She has found that it has forced her to be much more imaginative to find interesting and new things to do.
“My roommates and I made it a goal to try to find something fun to do every weekend,” she said with a smile. “It’s a lot of fun and sometimes you have to be really creative to find something we haven’t done before.”
They have found that taking short road trips can lead to excitement not too far from home.
“We’ve been to Shell Point, concerts, and other things like that,” she said. “Last year we went to Wakulla Springs and took the ‘alligator tour’. That was really cool.”
A New Beginning
While her senior year will no doubt be filled with wins, friendships, and fun, graduation day also means saying good-bye to the life she is accustomed to. She has already bid farewell to her former coach, and has graciously accepted her present one, Coach Baker. Before she herself, bows out, though, Ashley has some hopes for her last year as a Florida State soccer player.
“I want to get a few ACC wins and get the school’s first ever berth in the NCAA tournament,” Ashley said. ” If we could accomplish that my senior year would be so awesome. I’d like to get that first ACC win of the season, considering we’ve been so close twice this season.”
With the team nationally ranked for the first time, Ashley’s expectations are within her grasp. After that, though, Ashley is expecting to face some sadness, but also some great memories, about her teammates who come from all over the world.
“It’s going to be really sad when the year is over,” Ashley said. ” I’m not sure what I’m going to do. We have always stayed in touch over summer breaks…e-mail is going to be a lifesaver for us. I hope we’ll get a chance to visit a lot and hopefully we’ll come back to watch a few of our games next year.”
“I’ll always appreciate my time at FSU for the friendships it allowed me to make,” Ashley reflected. “There are so many great memories. Being by myself for the first time taught me a lot about myself. Growing up was probably the most important lesson I learned.”