Making the move from the University of Maryland to Temple University was not the direction Paul Frendach expected his college journey to take, but the redshirt sophomore believes in where it is leading him. Since starting in August as a communication studies major, he has developed a love for his new soccer team, Philadelphia and Klein College of Media and Communication.
Frendach grew up in rural Maryland and spent his time working on his family farm. He created his own fun by spending time alone, with his family or even with the horses on the farm. Without the close quarters of suburbia or city streets, he had the space to engage in physical activity, an outlet that meshed well with the tasks he needed to handle on the farm.
"You know your job, there's a job for everybody," he says. "So whether it's baling hay or something — just like the simple things you learn how to do by yourself — you become independent."
But after moving away from the farm and relocating several times to different areas of Maryland, he discovered that he wanted stability and an expanded social circle. He decided to attend a predominantly Black all-boys Catholic high school in Hyattsville, Maryland, which was a very different environment from where he had always spent his time.
Not only did his high school experience help him appreciate opportunities to connect with diverse groups of people, but his role on the school's soccer team also led to his recruitment to the University of Maryland men's soccer team. While there, he realized that communication — rather than economics, the major he began his college career pursuing — best suited his inclination toward creativity and was a harmonious course of study with his soccer schedule. He also recognized that media was one of the avenues through which he was exposed to other ways of living when he lived on the farm.
"Media and communication is a way to create your own message or meaning to a message through whatever medium you want to use," he says.
After determining that he wanted more playing time on the soccer field, Frendach transferred to Temple at the encouragement of the program's head coach Brian Rowland, who also worked with Frendach in high school and at the University of Maryland. When Rowland discovered that Frendach was transferring to Temple, he was "certainly happy that [Frendach] was interested in our program."
"The familiarity of each other was a big selling point for both of us," says Rowland.
This year's men's soccer season was one of the most impressive in Temple's history. With the help of Frendach and the collective effort of his teammates and coaching staff, the team participated in the American Athletic Conference championship tournament. Now that the season has ended, Frendach finally has time to adjust to Philadelphia and Klein College. Although his interactions with people outside of the soccer team have been limited so far, he still draws inspiration from the energy of the students and faculty like communication studies director Scott Gratson, who he calls "the best professor."
"It feels like everybody's doing something, so you wanna do something too," Frendach says.
Frendach advises student-athletes who want to relocate to another college to visit the campus before attending and to make sure to establish a solid relationship with the athletic staff and academic advisors. He also suggests utilizing the time student-athletes are allowed to use as redshirt players to focus on schoolwork and adjusting to a new environment. Without a willingness to broaden his horizons, Frendach would have never known about the opportunities available to him at Temple and Klein College.