Dimitris Kyridis: "pursuing higher education in the US is a big idea and a huge dream for a lot of people"
1. What inspired you to come to America to play volleyball? Why the USA?
The United States and pursuing higher education in the US is a big idea and a huge dream for a lot of people. It is the epicenter of the western world for many reasons. Even though there are a lot of issues with the USA as a country in many regards, the fact remains that it provides a lot of opportunities. Especially in higher education. The opportunity to combine my studies in biology with a sport that I love on a competitive level was something that I could not pass by.
2. What were some of your concerns and some of your expectations in relation to the collegiate sports in the USA? What were some criteria that played a factor in your decision for the university?
My biggest concern when the opportunity to leave for the States arose, was the fear that such a big step can create. It is hard to leave behind the life you knew and start anew somewhere else. I would leave behind all my friends and family to go to a new place where I did not know anyone, to play in a system that I did not really know. Obviously at the end, the positive outweighed the challenges and difficulties which I was about to face. The decision was somewhat easy, and it really depended on the overall best opportunity that was given to me to play and study in a good school with a good amount of scholarship.
3. Your thoughts about the work and the services provided to you from Nomos?
Nomos played an extremely important role in the whole process. Specifically, our now close family friend Tassos Kaburakis played an important role in the opportunities that were given to me and my final decision to take this big step. He was the first one to show trust in my abilities as an athlete and as a student and he guided me towards the direction of this great idea of studying in the United States. After I left, my connection to Tassos and Nomos was very close as they advised me throughout my collegiate career from the moment I arrived in the States to the day I graduated. Even now that I am considering moving on with my studies without sports, my connection with them is very close and very important towards the decision that I will take.
4. This year you finished your degree in Biology and returned to Greece. What are your plans for the future, for your career as well as your sport?
An undergraduate degree is a big step in the career of everyone, but not the last one. Soon I would like to continue my studies in Biology with a concentration in Conservation, the Environment, and Marine Biology. I have already started looking into graduate programs both in the US as well as in other places around the world for my Masters degree and soon I will start applying to them. When it comes to my sport, at the moment, I do not have any specific ambitions or plans of playing more. My career as a collegiate athlete has been very satisfying, with a lot of successes and many experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. Other than that I do not think I will chase anything further in volleyball.
5. What are some advice that you would give to athletes that are considering to follow the same path that you took? What do you have to say to the parents and the athletes that are thinking of taking on this journey?
The main thing that everyone needs to know when they are about to take such a big step is that it will never be an easy path to follow. There are going to be difficulties and unfortunate events that no one can expect. The thing is, how sure are you about the step you're about to take. If it is something you genuinely want to do then there is not a single problem or issue that cannot be resolved. There are going to be a lot of people that will help you succeed in your goals because they believe in you. Show trust in yourself above all else and everything else will find its way. For the parents it is important to understand that, at the end, it is a choice their kid must make about the opportunity that will be given to them. The best you can do is support them and advise them to the best of your abilities so they can succeed in what they want to do.