Janne Tullius '16
Number 49, December 8, 2015
Janne Tullius '16 came to the College of Coastal Georgia as a wide-eyed freshman back in 2012.
"I was just so mesmerized by what I saw. Everything was so new to me. I was just so grateful for the opportunity, the chance to be in America," she says now.
See, Tullius, now a senior, wasn't just your typical freshman going away from home for the first time to attend college four years ago.
Tullius was actually coming here from Hamburg, Germany, to further her education in the U.S. while playing basketball for the Mariners women's program which was just in its second year.
She had only been in the U.S. once previously when when she came the year before to visit family in New York City.
So, she wasn't simply packing up the car and moving away from home for the first time. This was truly a brand new experience for Tullius, especially considering that Brunswick wasn't exactly Hamburg, which is the second-largest city in Germany with more than 1.7 million people living there.
Coming here was truly a culture shock for the self-professed big-city girl who has come to appreciate the more relaxed lifestyle on the Georgia coast.
Tullius chose Coastal Georgia because it had what she was hoping to get from a U.S. college – basketball, psychology and a beach.
"(Former Coastal Georgia coach Betsy Harris) showed interest in me and thought I'd be a good fit here," Tullius recalls. "She talked to me right away after watching my videos, and I thought it would be fun to be a part of a new program.
"I also knew they offered the chance to study psychology which has always interested me. I know I can't play basketball forever, but I would actually like to work in sports and would like to do something in sports psychology.
"And then there's the beach. Where I'm from, we'd go to the beach on family vacations. It was only about an hour and a half from home. I love going to the beach, so being even closer to one now is even better."
Tullius has been to the beach more times than she can count for certain in the last four years.
She is currently in the midst of her final season with the Coastal Georgia women's basketball team.
And, in May, she will walk across the stage to get her degree in psychology which will bring her Coastal Georgia experience to a grand ending.
If all goes according to plan, her parents will also be here to witness that moment. It will actually be just their second visit to campus.
Their first will come when the Coastal Georgia basketball team celebrates Senior Day at the final home game in February. They normally watch their daughter's games on the video feed offered by Coastal Georgia and sometimes the schools the Mariners play away from Howard Coffin Gym.
Tullius understandably is excited about both those events. But she admitted that reality is starting to set in, too. She realized in recent weeks that her time at Coastal Georgia is coming to an end, and that makes her a little sad when she reflects on the last four years.
"I've grown so much as a person while I've been here and have met so many great people and made so many great memories. It was a good decision to come here," she says.
Tullius will soon be making other important decisions regarding the next phase of her life after Coastal Georgia.
That also will involve making a college choice as she has applied to attend graduate school next fall somewhere in the States. She wants to obtain a master's degree and also is already thinking about getting a doctorate as well.
She has already been accepted Barry University in the Miami area. She also has applied to University of Tennessee, Boston University and Georgia State, and is awaiting word from them as well.
"I'm excited and anxious about what comes next,"
She arrive wide-eyed, but admits she might leave a little teary-eyed.
Coastal Georgia will also hold a special place in her heart.
"This has basically been my home the last four years," Tullius said.