After graduating high school I went to Methodist University (formerly Methodist College) and competed on the women’s soccer team. A NCAA Division III institution, there were no athletic scholarships and we truly played for the love of the game. While spending six years working at Methodist, one of my favorite questions to ask was, “Why Methodist?” I love hearing different stories of how people found the small school in central North Carolina and what made them fall in love.

Over the last couple of years, many Division III institutions began promoting the classification on twitter through the hashtag #whyd3. Student-athletes, coaches and institutions have all expressed what made them choose to play Division III. During the second annual NCAA Division III week, the hashtag really took off, but I was disappointed to see some student-athletes explaining their decision as “because I wasn’t good enough for Division I.” I’m not under any illusions to think we can all compete at the NCAA Division I level, and sometimes that may be how a student “stumbles” onto a Division III campus, but I would hope it never stops there.

These are the stories of student-athletes who chose to compete at a NCAA Division III institution. Some had Division I opportunities and some did not, but this is more about what enriched their journey at Division III.

Why did you choose Division III?