The Pacific University College of Optometry is a world-renowned faculty that attracts students from all over the world and for graduate student Griffin Christenson, it is what drew him from his hometown of Hudson, Wisc.
“There were a few optometry schools I was looking at and I had the opportunity to interview at the New England College of Optometry out in Boston,” Christenson said. “I appreciated the small town feel of Forest Grove and the people over at the optometry school seemed to be really embracing of the students and I like that culture.”
After being accepted into the College of Optometry, Christenson discovered a rare opportunity to play football for the Boxers as a wide receiver. Christenson played four years at his previous school, University of Wisconsin River Falls, but was granted an extra year of eligibility with a medical redshirt after an injury cut his senior season short.
“I got hurt my senior year of high school, then I got hurt my senior year of undergrad and I really just wanted an opportunity to get a senior year,” Christenson said.
As a full time graduate student and football player, the workload Christenson faces is immense and took time to adjust to. This included finding ways to manage his time so he can perform his best not only on the field but in the classroom as well.
“It’s been a tough transition, but I came into it with my eyes wide open, knowing what I was getting myself into for the most part,” Christenson said. “I came in knowing I’d have a big time commitment for both football and school so that’s helped me budget my time and be officiant with the time I do have in studying and when I’m on the field.”
Having officially only played one game this fall season, the Pacific football team and Christenson are looking forward to conference play to begin Sept. 30 as they take on George Fox University in Newberg, Ore. According to Christenson, the team is chomping at the bit and ready to compete every time they step out on the field.
“My goal is to get a win every time my team steps on the field and to execute,” Christenson said. “Football is such a team game, there’s only so many things that are within your control so it’s really important for me to focus on what I can do individually because if everyone takes care of their job then the whole team can be successful.”
After having two senior season’s cut short, Christenson is not taking anything for granted out on the field and is making the most of his chance to play a final year.
“I’m excited just to have fun, that’s a big part of it for me,” Christenson said. “With the opportunity for a full senior year here, I really don’t take anything for granted out on the field just because I know how quickly it can end. I play every play like it’s my last and try to enjoy the time I have left.”