Senior Spotlight: Mouaad Alhouni

The spotlight this week travels to Senior Mouaad Alhouni who represents the Gustavus spirit and campus like quite no other on the Tennis Court! To get the inside scoop on life as a Gustavus tennis player, specifically a senior, I got the chance to interview Mouaad and learn some of the highlights.
While Gustavus, and surely the Tennis team, will mourn the loss of a brilliant player and student as he graduates this year, after speaking with Mouaad, it is clear he looks back on his past years in Tennis at Gustavus with nothing nostalgia and pride. His favorite part of being a part of the tennis team is, “traveling with the guys and spending time together in the house and on the court, ”a highlight to be sure, yet especially special to Mouaad as he follows up, “Those memories will stay with me for life.”
While many of us have fallen to the woes that this year brings with its many changes to campuses (especially athletics) Mouaad faces the realities of sports during COVOID with an upbeat attitude! When asked about the challenges and changes facing the team this year, Mouaad responded that, “Not having the ITA [Intercollegiate Tennis Association] this year is for sure a big change but it’s outside of our control. ”Despite the disappointment and frustration it must cause to have things integral to your passions beyond your control, Mouaad shows off the Gustavus spirit with grace and acceptance. Certainly, accepting what lies beyond our control is a lesson most of us (or at least assuredly myself) could stand to learn, despite how much we would not like to admit it! Athletics undoubtedly looks different this year, with so many emails on the cancelled competitions, it’s hard not to lose heart or grow resentful, yet Mouaad seems to demonstrate what all of us strive to do; make the most of what we have.
Like most students participating in athletics or working out to some capacity, the obstacle masks presents is noticeable to the Tennis team but Mouaad continues, “having to practice with a mask was a challenge to all of us but all the guys did a pretty good job of handling it and adjusting to the new normal and using the opportunity to get better.” Looking back at how the team has handled it this season, Mouaad was able to proudly track the progression of his team’s adaptability, saying, “Having all these new changes to our team culture still is getting better everyday.”
Looking back now, as a senior moving forward, Mouaad finds that what he is most proud of throughout his college career is, “all the relationships made here at Gustavus, whether through tennis or GAC friends.” In a rather heartfelt way he is reminding us of what is perhaps the most important thing in athletics, or on teams, as he continues, “Having those relationships helped me grow as a person.” Time on Gustavus sports has broadened his personal horizons, but more importantly, exposed him to new friends throughout his college career.
To the underclassman (and upperclassmen looking for advice) Mouaad doles out some senior status knowledge! When asked for advice for the underclassmen, Mouaad responds, “enjoy every moment in college, because it really goes fast!” In times such as these, and all other times, it is a nice reminder to slow down and appreciate the best parts of life, like competing in something you love or spending time with your friends. To support his advice, Mouaad provides a little insight into himself beyond the tennis court by letting us know something that most people don’t know about him- he can beatbox!
Whether tearing it up on the court or the social game, Mouaad’s future ahead looks incredibly bright. After Gustavus he hopes to keep up with what he loves- tennis! Past Gustavus he hopes to either be teaching or coaching. Beyond the court, Mouaad is considering pursuing a masters degree in management after graduating Gustavus. Speaking with Mouaad was a burst of sunlight on a colder day, his optimism embodies what we should all strive to do daily; be thankful for what we get and make the most of what we have. Beyond these buildings, whichever path he decides to pursue, Mouaad may go forward knowing all of Gustavus is cheering him on from behind!