by Mariel White, UF Athletics Communications
Sierra Alexander is the perfect example of a true Gator student athlete.
Attending the University of Florida has not only allowed Sierra to improve her gymnastics skills and make lifelong friendships with her teammates, it has prepared this aspiring author for the next phase of her life.
Sierra has made the SEC Academic Honor Roll and been named a NACGC Scholastic Academic All-American every year of her college career.
After changing her major three times, as many students do, she finally decided to do what she loves and pursue a double major in English and African American Studies with a minor in Classics, in hopes to be a novelist and screen writer.
Her coach, Jenny Rowland, helped her to see that, “in the end, I’m gonna be doing the work, so why not make it something I want to do.” Coach Rowland has even allowed her to miss official team practices and work out on her own time in the Gymnastics practice facility so that she can take the classes she needs to in order to reach her goals.
Pursuing a double major, a minor, and being a Florida Gymnast seems overwhelming, but to Sierra it’s a challenge she relishes. “I love school, I like to learn, so for me it’s not a burden… I want to do school and I want to do gym,” says Alexander.
Coach Jenny Rowland echoed this, saying “[Sierra] has control and is very driven and a very independent and motivated young woman. Whatever she decides and aspires to do, I know she is going to be able to achieve it.”
Sierra plans to take some time off after graduation to relax and “be a normal person” for the first time in her life, then hopes to travel overseas to attend Graduate School in Creative Writing.
Although she will be ready to move on to the next phase of her life following graduation, there is much she will miss from her time as a Florida Gymnast.
Her favorite memories include road trips or being stuck in the airport with the girls, being able to spend time together, talking and playing games.
When that final home match in Exactech Arena comes, Sierra says she’ll be sad to be leaving the Gator Nation and her teammates, but she will be happy on that Senior Night, surrounded by both her biological family and her gymnastics family.
Being a Gator Gymnast has taught Sierra many lessons, but one of her biggest take-aways is that “you can’t get to a goal without steps and without a process. You can have a big goal in mind but then it’s only a dream if you don’t work towards it.”
Sierra has a bright future ahead of her thanks to her time spent in Gainesville. Keep your eyes out in the coming years for her name in bookstores!