Nursing student by day, star volleyball player by night

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The Boswell sisters, Kimberli (left) and Amy (right), both love volleyball and had the opportunity to play together for a number of years. (Kris Boswell)
The Boswell sisters, Kimberli (left) and Amy (right), both love volleyball and had the opportunity to play together for a couple years. (Kris Boswell)

Amy Boswell plays for the No. 14-ranked BYU volleyball team, a team that had an NCAA tournament quarterfinals appearance last year. When she is not on the court, she is working on her degree in nursing, a program known for being difficult and time consuming, leaving her with little time to do anything else.

“I’m insane, that’s what I’ve decided,” Boswell said. “My social life is nonexistent. Naps are great. Twenty-minute naps save me.”

Her roommates joke that they do not even recognize Boswell, because she is never in the apartment.

“Who’s on our couch?” said Julianne Given, Boswell’s roommate. “Who’s that? What’s her name? She kind of looks like Kimberli (Amy’s older sister). … She goes to bed after us and wakes up before we do. Every night.”

Boswell has classes every day, including a Wednesday clinic in Payson that starts at 5:45 a.m. She has practice every day, with multiple games per week, starting anywhere from Wednesday to Saturday. She said she has become really good at turning in quizzes and homework in the middle of the night, since that is the only time she can.

“She never complains about her schedule,” said Anne Lind, one of Boswell’s friends. “If she’s tired, if she’s been up all night, she never complains about volleyball or school.”

Sometimes the team travels on the road for a series of games. Usually it is a weekend event where the team will leave Wednesday and come back Saturday. Because of her clinic, Boswell often leaves a little later than her team and meets up with them before their first match.

“It’s not as bad as I first thought it would be,” she said. “There’s actually a lot of time … so it’s actually kind of nice; if you bring the right books and the right stuff, you can get a lot of studying done.”

One has to ask how Boswell came about the decision to participate on a nationally ranked team and study in a demanding program. It was a family matter.

Boswell grew up in Aloha (pronounced “Alowa”), Oregon, where she began playing volleyball in her elementary school years. Her mom was always there to support her, and Boswell even influenced her older sister into playing volleyball. After playing on the same high school team together for two years, her sister went on to play at BYU. From that moment, it became a dream for the two sisters to play together in college.

“The fact that I got to play with (sister) Kimberli for two years (in college) was unbelievable, a dream come true,” Boswell said. “So fun, lots of sweat, blood, tears right beside her.”

Boswell denied volleyball offers from schools such as University of Utah and University of Portland, not only to play with her older sister at BYU but also because she was looking for a school that had a great nursing program and would provide her with the best education.

“She went on many recruiting trips and broke the news to these D1 coaches that she wanted to be a nurse and see if they would work with her,” said Boswell’s mom, Kris Boswell. “It was a bold thing to do … but when you are killing 600 balls in one season, the coaches listen. When she came to Provo to visit and did the same thing with the BYU coaches, she said she had a really warm feeling. She knew this was the right choice.”

It seemed to Amy Boswell that these two worlds, volleyball and nursing, were impossible to bring together. How would she have time to be the dedicated student she wanted to be but also be there for a team that would need her?

“(Being a nurse), it’s something that I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to do,” she said. “So, when I came to college, I was like, ‘Hold up. Is this possible?’ So, I went through this, probably several-month period, of, ‘This is impossible. No way, I can’t do this.’”

After several months of wrestling with the question and weighing her possibilities, one of her many answers came when she was with her family.

Amy Boswell, her mom and her older sister were enjoying themselves at the beach. After talking for hours about Amy’s goals and desires, her mom urged her not to wait but to apply to the nursing program that winter semester.

BYU volleyball player, Amy Boswell, poses with her nursing uniform on. (Kris Boswell)
BYU volleyball player Amy Boswell poses in her nursing uniform. (Kris Boswell)

“We kind of just sat there for a second, and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I just got this confirming, ‘Yes, do it.’ And so, through making that initial decision and then going and actually seeing how everything lines up, I couldn’t have lined it up better,” Amy Boswell said. “So the fact of just listening to tons of promptings and praying, being in the temple for hours and hours, I was just like, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’”

However, she went ahead and trusted in the decision she made with her family. She hasn’t looked back.

“I keep telling everyone that I have nothing to complain about, because I am in one of the best nursing programs in the country and playing on an excellent volleyball team who is one of the best in the country,” Amy Boswell said. “So, the fact that I am doing those two things and they occupy all my time, I’m fine with it. It’s great.”

Her mother provided a little insight into how Amy Boswell manages it all.

“I think that the key to happiness is being content with your life and the choices you make,” Kris Boswell said. “That is why she is very happy. She loves what she is doing. She knows that the Lord will continue to bless her. I cannot emphasize enough what a pure, sweet young lady that she is. Not a mean bone in her body. Won’t talk bad about others either. Works her tail off. Yep, that’s my Amy.”

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