My Own Legacy

Drew Morris

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This series is brought to you by United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

My journey to becoming a Mustang started before I was even born — it began with my mother playing tennis here in the 80s.

The fact that I’m here now playing tennis as well is wild to me.

We both had very different journeys, but we ended up in the same place, home on the hilltop.

Two journeys, one destination

I grew up hearing of the legend of Tammy Christensen. She was here at SMU from 1984 to 1988 and was part of the No. 1 doubles team in the nation.

My mother is an incredible woman, and anytime I’d talk with family or friends, they’d be sure to remind me.

Having such a legacy could’ve put pressure on me and made things hard, but my mother ensured that it wasn’t part of my story or my journey.

Despite my tennis heritage, my mother never pressured me or made me feel like I was supposed to carry some sort of legacy. She made sure that kind of expectation wasn’t put on me.

My journey may have led me down the same path, but I took a different road to get there.

I started out as a kid playing a lot of soccer and tennis.

I have fond memories of playing casually with my siblings and just having fun.

That joy made me pick tennis over soccer in middle school.

They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. That quote is a bit silly cause I feel like I work my tail off, but I agree with the sentiment.

If you love what you do, you love the work.

My focus and performance grew as my love for the sport grew.

Before I knew it, I was a junior getting ready to start seeing if I had any DI offers coming my way.

Picking SMU

Some might think I just got an offer from SMU and signed it, but I assure you that was not the case! My recruitment with SMU started slow.

There were a few conversations with people involved in Athletics here, but it wasn’t until I made the campus visit that things clicked for me.

Visiting campus as a prospective student felt like coming home.

After seeing the campus and talking with the people and the coaches, it became clear why my mom committed here so many years ago.

This place is special, and as a legacy student, I wanted to add to that legacy.

Not just the legacy my mother built here but the legacy of all SMU student-athletes before me.

I think it’s so awesome that I ended up picking the same school my mother chose and have the opportunity to follow in her footsteps while pursuing my own path.

As I reflect on my time there, it's not a single moment or so that stands out to me. Rather, it's the overall experience, particularly the people I've met along the way, that really defined my time at SMU. Many of the people I've encountered aren't just friends. I consider them my family.

Going through changes

My early days were still tough despite feeling at home and having a parent who went to school here.

Ask any student-athlete about time management, and their facial expression alone will tell you how hard it is.

Luckily, we have some great resources here at SMU.

I can’t recommend enough to use your teachers, tutors, and classmates.

Everyone is here to help one another, and if you reach out asking for help, someone will answer.

On the tennis court, my seniors were awesome.

They were so warm and welcoming it felt more like a sisterhood than a team. Can’t thank them enough for their camaraderie and the overall culture they instilled.

I’m pumped for year two and beyond!

On the court

Tennis at SMU is not about us individually but about the team.

That’s not coach’s talk either — it’s real.

You talk to any player, and we are all on the same page.

We say it so much it’s practically become our mantra.

We remind each other of this on the good and especially the bad days.

We want to qualify for post-season in May and to do that, we’ll have to work together, pushing each other to get to places we couldn’t reach alone.

I can’t wait to see where this year takes me. Being a legacy kid and carrying on the tradition my mother set forth for me has been the greatest joy of my young adult life.

This journey to SMU has been a dream come true, and I’m ready for what’s ahead.