It can be a difficult choice for a young adult to leave his or her home country to study abroad.
Alex Jones, junior tennis player, made that difficult decision, leaving her home in Essex, England to study in the United States.
Jones first arrived to America in 2015, attending Long Beach State in California before transferring to Texas State for her sophomore year.
Jones found herself lucky enough to have a friend join her on her journey to the United States, making the transition and adjustment easier than it is for most.
“Well firstly, I was in California at Long Beach State,” Jones said. “I went there with a friend, so I had another English person and we were adapting together.”
Things got easier for Jones as time went on, like most adjustment processes.
“As the months went on, it got a little easier and I enjoyed it,” Jones said. “I was always so excited about coming to America.”
Jones comes from an athletic family—her father, mother and brother taking part in a sport of some kind.
“My dad was like an all-arounder, so he played cricket, soccer, rugby and tennis,” Jones said. “My mom played a bit of hockey before going into the business, and my brother plays all sports like my dad.”
Unlike most tennis players, Jones didn’t begin playing tennis until she was 10 years old.
“Girls normally start around 5 or 6 so I was a late starter,” Jones said.
The junior played several sports growing up but ultimately tennis won, becoming her sole focus.
“When I was younger I played soccer and golf,” Jones said. “I love golf and still do, but it’s always been tennis.”
Jones credits tennis for helping build her confidence and her ability to approach and befriend others.
“I’ve gotten confidence, a lot of confidence,” Jones said. “When I was younger, at tournaments we had to be around loads of random people and you just make friends.”
The junior credits much of her collegiate success to the confidence she gained on the court.
“I think that helped me come to college because I know how to make friends,” Jones said. “I know how to interact with people in class.”
Jones was encouraged to attend the university by another Texas State student from England. “I had a friend here,” Jones said. “She was from England as well. She was here for four years.”
Once in San Marcos, Jones was hooked. She enjoyed the coaching staff and the atmosphere of the city and its people.
“I’ve had a lot of fun, just the people and the coaches, the whole athletic atmosphere,” Jones said. “The players, the other teams, they’ve all been so friendly.”
When Jones isn’t worrying about academics or focusing on tennis, she takes advantage of all San Marcos has to offer.
“I like to go to the river, and sometimes we go to the rapids and sit there and watch the sunset,” Jones said. “Or maybe The Spot, you know, bowling and cinema.”
This is Jones’ final year of playing tennis, but she still plans on being involved with the team during her senior year.
“It’s my senior year in tennis, so this is my last season playing,” Jones said. “But then I’ve got another year on top of that, so I’ll probably be helping, kind of like an assistant.”
Unable to entirely give up the sport, she doesn’t rule out the possibility of joining a club tennis team.
“I definitely want to keep the tennis up,” Jones said. “All these years playing, I don’t want to just let it go to waste.”
Despite being a veteran on the team and coming to the end of her collegiate tennis career, Jones doesn’t feel that way.
“I feel like I’m still a freshman,” Jones said. “I feel like I was just coming to America.”