Many athletes dream of going to college and playing a sport, but only a select few are able to make that happen.
Elena Sinde Romero, a senior business management and marketing major, began her golf journey at a very young age in Spain.
“My dad wanted me and my brother to try all types of sports, so he took us to the range,” she said. “We kind of liked it because it’s very challenging.”
Romero said that her and her brother Alejandro started playing at the same time, which made playing even better.
“You don’t always hit the ball the first day you try golf and my brother and I are very competitive in those type of things,” she said. “We got into it just for fun and then it got more and more fun.”
Romero said that she realized if she wanted to continue with golf that she needed to come to the United States.
“I didn’t want to stop playing golf, because back at home you either have to be between golf or studies,” she said. “The only way that I could keep playing golf was if I came to the States because they offer both.”
Romero said that when she came to the United States it was a big culture shock.
“When I came it was only a month in advance, so I didn’t really have time to prepare or anything,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be that big of a difference, I thought it would be similar to my country but turns out it wasn’t.”
Romero said that she started to notice how things were different the first day she was here.
“After I unpacked me and my dad went to downtown to eat dinner and everything was closed,” she said. “It was 10 p.m. at night, but back home it’s very normal to have dinner at 10:30 p.m. or 11:30 p.m.”
Romero said when she first came, in 2015, it was difficult to communicate with everyone.
“Obviously the language was a big barrier and I had lots of trouble trying to communicate,” she said. “It was difficult to be understood by others and it took me a good whole semester to be able to start a conversation.”
Since arriving at Wesleyan, Romero has excelled both on the course and in the classroom. She was named the Sooner Athletic Conference’s Freshman of the Year and was named to the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, according to ramsports.net.
She tied for fifth at the Sooner Athletic Conference Championship in April 2018, as the Lady Rams won the conference; in March 2019, she tied for 13th at the Battle at Primm, according to ramsports.net.
Emily Hunt, a sophomore and history major, said that she and Romero work on their golf game a lot.
“We go to practice together a lot outside of scheduled practice, which is good,” she said. “She pushes me to be better when I get stressed out about my golf game and simplifies it for me.”
Hunt said that their relationship outside of golf is strong as well.
“We actually hang out a lot and go to the gym together,” she said.
Romero said that after she graduates in May she is not exactly sure what she wants to do.
“I’m a business management and marketing major, but I’m really into sports and I would like to relate my major to that,” she said. “I would like to do sports marketing or something like that so I would like to get my master’s in that area.”
Romero said that she would like to stay in the United States for a while but is unsure if she will.
“I would like to stay here and try it out for a year, get my OPT (Optional Practical Training) to work and get some experience and see how it is,” she said. “I think that college and what everybody calls ‘the real world’ out there are very different.”
Romero said that on the other hand, it would be nice to be a little closer to home.
“I would also like to go back home and be closer to my family and parents over there and maybe get my master’s in Europe,” she said. “It’s free so it makes it more affordable, but I don’t have a fixed idea, so I don’t know yet.”
Romero said that she has had several coaches impact her life through her golf game.
“The other two coaches I had back at home would motivate me and help me grow as a person as well,” she said. “When I got here coach (Kevin) Millikan became like my dad and I don’t think I would have survived my freshman or sophomore year if it wasn’t for him.”
Madalyn Fee, a sophomore accounting major, said that Romero is a great teammate to have.
“She is kind of like the leader of the group and always takes charge to make sure everyone is on the same page.”