Marcus Waerstad, a freshman business major, came to Texas Wesleyan on a table tennis scholarship with big dreams and aspirations for his time here.

“I always have liked America and wanted to come here,” Waerstad said. “I want to stay here for at least 4 years, maybe longer.”

Waerstad said he plans to travel around the United States, including a spring break trip in 2017.

“I think some of my friends are coming coming for spring break so we can drive to Florida,” Waerstad said.

Though Waerstad has not seen it all, he has already discovered a couple of major differences between Norway and the United States.

“Here people are more open,” Waerstad said. “I thought it was cool to learn how to speak to people without first knowing them. You can go to your class and talk to like 10 people on your way. In Norway, that doesn’t happen.”

Waerstad’s excitement to get to know people has shown since the day he arrived at Wesleyan in August.

“I was expecting him to be unsocial when I found out we got a teammate from Norway,” Nasar Sailab, a sophomore political science major, said. “He was different. He was friendly.”

Not only was Waerstad eager to get to know people when he arrived, he also displayed an altruistic attitude in helping his teammates improve.

“He asked if I was a table tennis player,” Sailab said. “I said, ‘I’m a very new one,’ so he said, ‘We can always get better, I’ll teach you,’ and he did.”

Known for showing up and never wanting to leave, Waerstad’s motivation is currently at a peak.

“As far as practice goes, he’s got a super strong work ethic,” freshman teammate Deven De Leon, said. “The other day we went to the gym at 9 p.m. and didn’t leave until 12 a.m.”

Waerstad is spoken highly of in the table tennis world, and outside of it as well.

“As far as character goes, he’s a really good friend,” De Leon said. “If you don’t have money, he’ll always say ‘I got you.’”

Though Waerstad plans to settle in Norway, he wants to share his newly learned American ways with the rest of his country.

“I think I want to stay like I am now,” Waerstad said. “Even if the culture is different. I want to open the doors for people. Hopefully some of my friends can learn a bit from me and how I am now.”

 

Freshman Marcus Waerstad practices at the Sid W. Richardson gym. Photo by Heather Birge.

Freshman Marcus Waerstad practices at the Sid W. Richardson gym.
Photo by Heather Birge.

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