What do you do with the precious little free time you have when you’re a collegiate and national rugby star representing your country in the Rugby World Cup?
Well, if you’re Penn State phenom Tess Feury, you spend every moment you can studying up for your senior year of nursing school.
A fullback and outside center for the national champion Penn State women’s rugby team, Feury knows well the role grit and determination play in pursuing one’s passions. They’re what have kept her on the road to earning her degree while being named a Collegiate All-American an astounding three times.
It’s a balancing act, she admits in a recent profile by the Penn State News Service, but one that is made easier by her coaches’ commitment to her education and her nursing instructors’ support of her sport.
“My nursing instructors have made the challenge easier by being flexible with my schedule and following my success on the field,” she said. “When I go into class on Monday morning and they ask how my game went or comment on our win, it makes me feel like it is worth the effort.”
That flexibility allowed Feury to travel to Ireland this past August and represent the US as a member of the women’s national rugby team, the Eagles, in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The experience was “indescribable,” she said, the realization of a lifelong dream, and the team finished an admirable fourth in a field packed with stiff competition.
Stateside again, Feury has her schedule stacked, as usual, dividing her time between nursing clinicals, weight training, lectures, practice, studying and traveling with the team. It’s a tough routine, to be sure, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Nursing and rugby are my two passions in life, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to do both at Penn State.”