College Connections: Juliet Moncho at Dartmouth College

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What do Dr. Seuss and Mr. Rogers have in common with 164 members of Congress? They are graduates of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Founded in 1769, the liberal arts college is known for its research opportunities and academic excellence. It consistently ranks in the top five universities for undergraduate teaching by U.S. News & World Report.

Dartmouth has thirty Division I varsity sports teams that compete in the Ivy League conference, where athletes compete against some of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious colleges. Juliet Moncho (’19) plays forward on Dartmouth’s women’s soccer team. Juliet’s close friends include Steven Adams of the OKC Thunder, and those who know her best describe her as driven, unpredictable, and goofy. There is no doubt Juliet’s schedule of demanding classes coupled with sports practices require grit and determination. She kindly shared her experiences at Dartmouth College, and she has great advice for student athletes hoping to pursue their sport in college.

What was the most important lesson you learned while a student at Casady? 

Juliet: The most important lesson I learned at Casady was to work hard while surrounding yourself with the right people – plain and simple. Hard work always creates a product no matter what it is that you’re devoting your effort to. The harder you work, the greater the output. 

What is your major/minor and what do you want to be after completing your education? 

Juliet: My major is Neuroscience, and I’m contemplating between minoring in Biomedical Engineering and Political Science. I plan on going into the surgical field and doing some medical research. I want to focus on pediatrics and right now I am leaning towards neurosurgery, but that could all change as I get closer to deciding a specialty.

Describe Dartmouth’s personality and why you chose to attend.

Juliet: Dartmouth’s personality is similar to Casady’s. Yes, it’s a serious academic environment that requires a lot of commitment, but it’s so fun. Fun to where you almost forget how hard you’re working. Class and soccer are both times where I am giving my greatest effort, but I’m doing it with a smile on my face. It’s a pretty small school like Casady is, which causes it to be interactive on almost all levels (academic, athletic, social, etc). I picked Dartmouth because I knew I wanted a school that had a strong academic reputation and a Division I program. I figured that this was the time to push myself while doing the things I love. It was crystal clear that Dartmouth had the facilities I was looking for.

How do you balance both sports and a rigorous curriculum? 

Juliet: I balance sports and academics similar to the way that I did in high school. It’s never “60% academics and 40% soccer” or any other type of proportion. It’s simply 100% school and 100% soccer. Once you set your priorities and realize that you truly care about them it becomes easier to stay on track.

Is it a big jump in the level and amount of work at college and with how much you practice for sports or similar to what you were already doing in high school?

Juliet: I honestly do not believe that I could have gone to an institution better than Casady to prepare myself for the academics that Dartmouth has. No, there is no jump in the physical amount of work. There is just a level-up in responsibility and difficulty of work.   

What advice do you have for athletes at Casady who want to play sports at an Ivy League school?

Juliet: Work as hard as you physically and mentally can – and don’t cheat it (or it will show). If you believe that you have what it takes to get to the next level, then you absolutely deserve to take the best shot you can at achieving that dream. Cultivate your craft by working hard when talent won’t suffice. It gets hard and almost impossible at times, but you have to believe in yourself and stick with it no matter what. You never know what could happen. You have to be tough and you have to be a fighter, especially against yourself. Just do what it takes, and a little more. 

Describe the process of being recruited by college coaches?

Juliet: I started playing in Dallas in 8th grade and I was traveling to practice and games 3 times a week through 10th grade, and then I committed August going into my Junior year and switched to a soccer club team in Tulsa. It took most of my time and effort. I wanted to go out of state, so it was a bit complicated traveling every other weekend, but my parents made it all possible for me. I could not have gotten an ounce of what I have without them. 

When do athletes begin the recruitment process and who initiates it?

Juliet: I started the recruitment process in 8th grade. My club team had started traveling to the best showcases in the country to play in front of college coaches. From there, schools started showing interest in me, and then by 9th grade the communication between coaches and myself started to spike up. From there I was gone in another state almost every weekend going to a showcase, game, camp, or visit. 

What does your average school week and weekend look like?

Juliet: A very organized mess. Weekdays’ breakfast is at 8:00, class from 9:00-10:00 and 11-12:50, a quick lunch at 1:00, practice from 2:30-4:30, shower and get treatment and leave by 5:30, walk to team dinner around 6:15, get done around 7:30, study and do work from 7:45 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. During the weekends, I wake up at around 9:30 and I’m in the library all day if it’s an off day and we don’t have a game. Then I go hang with my friends during the evening.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the Casady community?

Juliet: I met a [Casady] alum at the Soccer Alumni event! We were both shocked and exchanged information. Small world – Casady brings people together across all spectrums! 

Dartmouth is the smallest college in the Ivy League with 4,459 undergraduate students. The Appalachian Trail runs through the 269-acre campus that sits along the Connecticut River. It’s small size and rural location create a tight-knit community. Dartmouth has a “D-Plan,” which is a year-round academic calendar of four ten-week terms. Students have the unique option to choose three of the four terms to attend, allowing students the opportunity to choose when to pursue an internship, take a break, or study abroad.  

There are many fun traditions at Dartmouth, including the Polar Bear Swim during Winter Carnival when students plunge into the icy water of Occom Pond. First-year Trips is another tradition in which freshmen participate in pre-orientation and choose from several outdoor programs that are led by upperclassmen. These wilderness excursions range from rock climbing to whitewater rafting. Since 1888, Dartmouth students celebrate Homecoming with an enormous bonfire that freshmen run around while upperclassmen cheer them on. Go Big Green!