By Nina Shu
Rookie Diary is an Eyeopener a series where three Rams rookies take us through their first year at Ryerson.
After representing Newfoundland and Labrador as their captain at the 2017 Canada Games, incoming soccer star Katie Joyce is ready to take the pitch for the Ryerson Rams while balancing a new life in Toronto.
Q. What are the differences you feel between living in Toronto versus Newfoundland?
A. It’s not even comparable, it’s so different. I’d say the pace is different. Where I’m from, we have like a thousand people. It’s super slow—it’s like a little fishing community. And to come up here, it’s crazy. It’s a fast-paced life for sure. At home, especially in my town, come 9 o’clock it’s quiet, it’s dead; all the lights are off. But here, we just went out to supper and it’s like 11 o’clock. Everyone’s still going, the lights are all going. I’m definitely someone who likes the slower pace lifestyle; taking my dog for a walk and not seeing too many cars, you know? There’s people honking their horns every five seconds around here and it’s not like that back home at all. It’s definitely different but I’m liking it a lot so far.
Q. What will you miss the most from Newfoundland?
A. Definitely my family, for sure. That’s gonna be a huge adjustment. I knew coming into it that that would be the biggest aspect because I’m so far from home, and you’re always gonna miss home, but I think it’s gonna be worth it. The opportunities that are up here are broadening my horizons. Missing family is definitely gonna be my biggest obstacle for sure.
Q. Have you ever lived on your own before?
A. Not fully living by myself but I think being in soccer for so long has definitely prepared me for this (because) we go on trips all the time. Especially in the last year or two with recruitment trips, I’ve been on my own for a lot of those and staying on campuses without my parents or anybody. Just flying by myself and staying in residences at all those different universities by myself kind of prepared me. But this is a little different. It’s a little more permanent, but that definitely prepared me.
Q. Why did you choose to go to Ryerson?
A. I was looking at a lot of universities, mostly for soccer recruitment, so I went to clinics and reached out to coaches. I met Tina (Cook) at a clinic. She watched me play and she said to come to Ryerson for a visit, just to see how it was. And when I came here, comparing it to the other schools that I went to, it was incredible. As soon as I got here, I knew right away. Everyone was so welcoming, the academic reputation here is incredible, the women’s soccer program was so intense. It’s definitely the right fit for me.
Q. How do you feel about joining a new team this year?
A. Maybe a little bit nervous, but whenever you do a new experience like this there’s a little bit of nerves and excitement for sure. It’s a huge opportunity and I’m really excited.
Q. How do you think the soccer’s going to differ?
A. I’d say it’s much more of a physical game at this level, and it’s usually a quicker pace as well. We did a lot of training in the Canada Games team and it definitely prepared me for this level.
Q. How long have you been playing soccer?
A. Forever. I’ve been playing since I was five year old, I think. Five or six. It’s a long time, I didn’t realize how long it was until just now when I said that.
Q. What do you enjoy most about the sport?
A. I love how it’s such a team-oriented sport. I’ve played individual sports before and comparing it to just the overall team aspect of soccer, that’s what makes it so special, I’d say. And you can always move up and improve. You can be very self-driven in soccer and there are so many levels that you can go to, like regional, provincial, and national. You can never stop improving.
Q. What are you studying at Ryerson?
A. I’m doing the Undeclared Science program right now, so I’ll take all the sciences this year and I’ll declare a science [stream] in February. I’m leaning towards physics but I figure I should try them out first and see how it goes. I know that I love science but I don’t know enough about it to declare one right now.
Q. Where does your passion for science come from?
A. I had a science teacher in high school who seemed to know a little bit about everything to do with science, and every day he’d come in and tell us a new fact or new advancement in science and I’d look forward to it every day. He was great in that aspect; he really inspired me to pursue science. So probably him, I’d say.