Emma Esteb – Staff Writer
Kaleb Stevens (‘25), Gustie of the Week, is a hard-working and resilient individual from Ohaeawai, Northland, New Zealand. Stevens chose Gustavus for a few different reasons. The first being “the generous offer from the Gustavus Men’s Tennis team as they compete and play at a very high level and the second reason being that the classes will help with the career I am interested in the future,” Stevens said. Stevens is a First-year student and he is planning on majoring in physics and environmental science.
Within the Gustavus community, Stevens is a member of the Gustavus Men’s Tennis team. Known for their success, Stevens was drawn to the team in order to continue his tennis career.
The 2022 season has been going well as many wins have been clenched in both the fall and now spring season.
Stevens suffered an ACL injury earlier this winter and just received the surgery this week.
He has been unable to play tennis for a few months but has quickly adapted into a new role on the team. Despite his injury, Stevens still attends practice and has somewhat shifted to a management and coaching role for the team. Junior team member Alex Budde said Stevens is “super cool to have around, he brings the spirits up at practices and matches, and is an overall super funny guy.” Stevens has watched many of the boys’ matches and is very happy with how the season has gone so far.
As a First-year student it is always a difficult transition to move away from home and away from family. Stevens made this transition all the way from New Zealand. “It has been difficult because I am so far away from home and I miss my family and friends a lot. However, I have a lot of great support from coaches and very good friends which have made this transition easier,” Stevens said.
He also noted that he is usually pretty busy, making him get a little less homesick. More than just missing family and friends, Stevens has had to adjust to the culture here in the United States. He says it is very different here than it is in New Zealand as the food and the way Americans talk is quite different from what Stevens is used to at home.
Another large shock when attending Gustavus is the weather. Minnesota is no joke about their winters and the cold weather has seemed to continue into April this year.
Stevens “saw snow for the first time here at Gustavus so that was super fun to see him react to the weather and talk about how different it is for him at home,” teammate Budde said
Stevens is thankful he was able to finally receive his surgery as there were some complications involving the logistics since he is not from the United States. He is currently resting in the cities and is excited to return to campus soon. All of his teammates are wishing him a very speedy recovery as he embarks on his comeback journey.