By Taylor Wilson
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Many students attend college to fulfill their dream of playing Division I athletics, or to accomplish a life-long goal such as getting into medical school. For Texas Tech senior Megan Shupp, her plans included both.
Shupp was recently accepted into medical school at Tech, where she will begin taking classes in the fall. She has become the first TTU softball player to be admitted into the University’s medical school program.
Shupp was a Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection the past two seasons, and this year achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA. This past spring at the first annual TECHspy awards, Shupp was recognized for her GPA, and was also a recipient of the Jeannine McHaney Award. The award is given to a student-athlete in each women’s sport for their academic achievement and athletic excellence, as well as service to the community and the University. Throughout her tenure at Tech, she has also been named to the dean’s list every semester.
The list of accolades continues for the Red Raider as Shupp’s academic excellence was also nationally recognized this season as a nominee for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. She was the first TTU softball player to be named a semifinalist. The award recognizes the loyalty of senior student-athletes who honor a four-year commitment to their universities, and acknowledges nominees for great achievement during competition and in their community.
Shupp, being the determined and dedicated student athlete she is, knew that in order for her to be accepted into medical school there would be no room for error. That outlook emulated her playing style on the field, and multitasking became a part of her daily lifestyle.
“When I was getting ready for the MCAT, I knew I couldn't waste any time because there was so much information that I needed to know,” said Shupp. “I ended up doing treadmill workouts so that I could study flashcards and review sheets as I ran.”
Shupp recalls the stressful times of the application process and was relieved to be finished with the stress and the waiting game of getting into the medical program.
“I was actually complaining to my sister the night before about another application that I was getting frustrated with,” said Shupp as she relived the moment. “The next day, I got an initial acceptance e-mail from Texas Tech, and I freaked out and danced around the house and everything. It was such a big relief and weight off my shoulders knowing that all of my hard work had finally paid off.”
Shupp is versatile both on and off the diamond. Not only has she accomplished things many dream of doing in a lifetime, she is multi-talented on the field as she serves as a utility player but primarily plays center field for the Red Raiders.
Shupp started 57 games for TTU this season, as she hit three home runs and established a fielding percentage of .955.
It takes hard work to establish and maintain a productive and appropriate schedule for a thriving college student, especially for student-athletes. Shupp recognizes this and contributes her success off the field to her ability to manage her time wisely.
“For a student-athlete, time management is one of the hardest things to master, because it takes a lot of discipline and dedication,” said Shupp. “You have to make time to study, practice, work out, eat right, get enough sleep and somehow find a moment for yourself to just relax.”
Shupp believes that her experience and time spent playing softball throughout her career, on top of the loads of school work, will help her deal with medical school in ways she hadn’t imagined.
“Being a student-athlete, especially with softball's travel schedule, has taught me how to deal with a lot of different time demands, how to work with many different personalities, and how to use many different problem solving skills,” noted Shupp.
Shupp contributes much of her dedication, determination and success to her friends and family.
“My family really helped support me and encouraged me to keep working hard. My friends kept me levelheaded,” said Shupp humbly.
As mind-boggling as it may sound, Shupp still finds time to do things outside of her demanding academic and softball schedule.
“I made sure to spend some time on myself because without that, I would go insane,” she said. “It was just part of my planning and time management; I would plan to spend time with my friends after studying a certain section. I also did shadowing and volunteer work that I loved, which I was able to use that on my applications, and it gave me a study break and an outlet to have fun.”
As for becoming the first Tech softball athlete to be accepted into the University’s medical school, Shupp is grateful and hopes that others will one day follow in her footsteps.
“It is a great honor and privilege, and I hope that my experiences will help others that want to do the same.”