Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - College life can be a big adjustment just being away from home. Throw in a job, studies and two sports and that experience can become overwhelming. 2021 Thunder Mountain High School graduate Iayanah Brewer is meeting those tasks for the Everett Community College Trojans the same way she competed for the Falcons track and field team - at full speed and in perfect form.
“Definitely being on my own,” Brewer said of her biggest adjustment. “I’m buying my own groceries. It’s different when you are making your own decisions on, like, going to school events or when you need to go somewhere. So I’m just taking care of myself.”
Brewer, attending ECC on a track scholarship, also is part of the Trojans basketball team. The hoops season began at the end of August. The track indoor season starts at the end of January and the track outdoor season starts in March.
“The campus is easy to get around,” Brewer said. “Probably my favorite part is that the gym is right next to my dorm. So I’m always there and it is easy transportation to get to.”
Brewer, five-foot-seven, plays guard for the Trojans basketball team and she will run sprints and compete in jumps for the track and field team.
“In the mornings I have track practice from 6 to 9 a.m., then I head to work from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Brewer said. “And then I have basketball from 3 to 5, or sometimes late practices 6 to 8. And so I definitely have a lot of time in-between or after for school work and it is definitely easier for me because all my classes are online.”
Due to COVID mitigations, Brewer, a psychology major, and all Everett students had the option for online schooling.
“It is more flexible,” Brewer said. “For me it was easier, and there are other classes you can do Zoom or in person.”
That said, half of her waking day is athletics.
“Basketball and track don’t really cross together,” Brewer said. “So right now we have track preseason for indoor and outdoor so everyone sits in on track in the mornings and later on I have basketball.”
The Trojans are 3-0 for the season.
“The biggest adjustment for me is we have a shot clock,” Brewer said. “It makes me nervous because I am not used to how much time we have. I still get jitters but it is pretty exciting that I am in the next level. I felt like I have gotten a bit stronger. My speed is the same but we have been doing a weight lifting program two or three times a week. It is different skills and techniques we are using and is new to me but it is fun and I like it. I haven’t scored yet, though.”
Brewer also works at a local Subway that is in walking distance.
“It is really close,” she said. “A four minute walk. And I can adjust my diet from work if I want. It is perfect. I definitely found I need more vegetables and less of, like, definitely junk food. I try to stay away from chips, because I love chips. I never really ate much vegetables in high school but now I am eating vegetables and a lot more meats. It is really nice and helps with my physicality and diet.”
Brewer said staying in shape year round is important for athletes.
“Probably the biggest part any athlete should take is hydration,” Brewer said. “I didn’t realize how important that would be because you are constantly conditioning. You always have to stay in shape for running, hill work and weight lifting so definitely hydration, and nutrition is a big part of it. I’ve been working on that. I try to figure out what keeps me going throughout the day but also along with that is definitely sleep. And especially since I wake up early in the morning, because I want to do two sports, you definitely need to have sleep.”
Brewer also shares a dorm room.
“It is different because you are used to just being with family,” she said. “But it also makes me feel more comfortable because my roommate is from Alaska.”
Her roommate, Kiana Kivisto from Petersburg, also runs sprints and jumps for the Trojans track team.
“It definitely brings home back a little bit,” Brewer said. “It’s good to know someone at least.”
Brewer was asked, as a psychology student, how she would analyze herself.
“I would probably say try not to stress myself out,” she said. “I feel like any high school student transitioning to college would think it would be really hard and you would never have your own independent time… and you definitely do. I feel like because I am doing sports two times a day and I have work and school I tend to stress myself out. But I know that if I just have a plan for the day and everything I will be just fine.”
Above - Iayanah Brewer is shown last year signing her letter of intent to attend Everett Community College, located in Everett, Washington. Shown are TMHS track coach Dwayne Duskin and basketball coach Andy Lee.