By Haylee Key
Cameron student Zara McCauley is a volleyball player from South Australia who has learned how to adapt to American lifestyle by following the rules of volleyball.
McCauley finds the lack of a language barrier helps ease the transition but she still experiences cultural differences in her day to day.
“Things just small that you wouldn’t think of that kind of like end up making a pretty big difference,” McCauley said.
McCauley moved to America when she was 18 years old. She has lived in several different states and now resides in Lawton, Okla. where she attends Cameron University. McCauley is majoring in Sports and Exercise Science and is looking forward to graduating in 2025.
McCauley decides to make her big move to America when realizing she wants to continue playing volleyball in college.
Australia doesn’t offer volleyball at levels beyond high school. McCauley knew she wanted to continue her education, but she wanted to continue following her passion for volleyball as well.
“I don’t wanna just be studying, I want to keep playing so I came over here and I’ve been here since,” McCauley said.
Leaving her family and friends, McCauley sets out across the world. McCauley quickly learns to be on her own and becomes independent for the first time.
Unlike most college students who still have their parents in the same state or country, McCauley’s parents are in another country, so she must learn to take care of herself.
Her adaptive personality makes for a smooth transition but she still misses some things back home.
“I miss my friends, my family, the food, just the environment too,” McCauley said.
McCauley has had to learn to adapt to the changes in volleyball rules as well.
“It’s really fast-paced over here,” McCauley said.
However, McCauley puts her best foot forward. She not only brings her skills as a player to the team but also her energy. McCauley feels she is calm and level-headed but energized at the same time; she lifts people up.
“Maybe I’m not a huge point scorer, but I know everyone plays better when I’m there,” McCauley said.
McCauley celebrates the little things. She is happy to be somewhere where she can do what she loves and play volleyball. McCauley looks forward to making the most of the next two years.
Although McCauley wants to live in the moment while here on the volleyball team, she has big plans for her future.
McCauley wants to be an athletic trainer after college. She plans to work locally for a few years to gain experience then move back home and work for the Australian Football League (AFL).
Until then, McCauley plans to enjoy her time at Cameron and make the most of her American experience.