Megan Carey: athlete, scientist, nanny

Megan Carey: athlete, scientist, nanny

The senior from Encinitas will graduate in Spring with a degree in Molecular Bio. She finished with the fifth most career goals in school history and recently added two more accolades in 2016: and All-West Region nod and and Scholar All-Region nod. -Talk about finishing your career with two NCAA tournament bids
MC-It was exciting last year, because freshman and soph. years we had strong teams but were unlucky getting in the playoffs.

When we found out we got into a conference, we knew we all it took was win that and we were in. In Georgia there was every insane obstacle when we were there-rainstorms, hail. We still pulled it off and got an awesome win. My favorite memory in college: getting to be there with my team and traveling.

We got on the plane to Texas two days later. We played Hardin-Simmons, a hard team off the bat but we actually played them really well. We lost 3-1 but it didn't really matter. We were so happy to be there. It was a good way to send off our seniors.

This year, everyone was excited coming off last year knowing we had that potential. With a big senior class, we had a lot of girls who would be good leaders and role models for the younger girls.

It was kind of a rocky season, but we still got the bid for the playoffs. How is still a mystery to the whole team. (laughs)

We were excited to go to So Cal to play Pomona-Pitzer because we played them early in the season.

It ended up not in our favor (5-2 loss) but I think the way we finished stood out well and shows how our team works as a whole- we can get it together and every person was able to step up. It was a really good feeling to end that way.

Talk about your studying in Corsica?

MC-It was a field quarter for Marine Biology.  At that point, I was torn about missing the season, but I was a sophomore and knew I had two more years of soccer, so I thought 'why not see the world and get this great experience?' 
I did the preseason training and a few games at the beginning of the fall.

We lived on a research base right on the harbor. We'd roll out of bed, go scuba-diving and would create research projects based on our organism of topic. That was really cool.

It was four upper-div classes, so 20 units total. We lived on the base for five weeks and got to explore the island, have lectures on the base. The main thing was our final research projects. The thing was the whole class was four or fifth years and this was their graduating requirement for Marine Bio. So the paper I wrote meant I was done with the final part of marine bio major, but got it out of the way early on.

They opened the interviews to juniors and seniors the prior spring. I was a freshman and my roommate, who was marine bio too, got an email for the interview. I had no idea what it was about, but we both showed up at the Long Marine Lab and both interviewed. Then there was a second round of interviews, then a third and then you got an email saying 'congratulations'. They only took 30 of the 150 kids who applied and I think was one of two sophomores to go.

It was so out of the blue, so I got a job as a soccer coach in Scotts Valley, I worked at a clothing store over the summer, I was a nanny and a house sitter. I needed a lot of jobs from that spring to raise enough money to go. My parents were all for it.

Was being a nanny fun?

MC-Their parents were huge marathon runners so they wanted me to make the kids work out. They were five and seven. I thought 'That's easy, make a five year-old run'. We'd take a lap around the block and they'd ask to stop.

So nanny/personal trainer?

MC-Yeah. Didn't know I being was hired for both.

So after that, why the switch to molecular bio?

MC-I took genetics at the beginning of junior year, and just loved it. We had a section dedicated to cancer cell biology, and it fascinated me so much I realized I had more passion for this class than any of the marine bio classes I'd taken, and I could see myself in that field in the future.
Something just switched for me. So my mom and friends asked "is this just a phase?" I waited it out to make sure I was serious before I switched my classes up and changed my major.

Caught in any bio vs. bio turf war once you switched?

MC-(Laughs) There's a mutual respect among the sciences. My roommate and best friend just got back from Corsica because she didn't go as a sophomore. She loves Marine Bio, a total Ocean-loving/mermaid girl.

Whatever interests you, there's no shame in that. As long as you enjoy it that's all that matters.