Junior Oliver Snaider is not only a tennis player here at Mercer University, but also an international student. He is the only child of his parents to be born in Paraguay, while the rest of his family was born in Germany. He has been playing tennis for 12 years. “Mainly in South America, people always pick soccer,” said Snaider. “I was thrilled about tennis and that it’s a very individualistic sport.”
Snaider has been living on his own since he was 16, which he says has made him more independent.
Snaider is an international business major who plans to get a Master’s degree in the near future. When asked what he planned to do after college, he replied that though he’s keeping his options open, the main plan is for him to take after his father’s company. Snaider’s father owns an import and export company, as well as a tent rental company and a workshop that he outsources. “I want to stay here for a bit, look for a nice job, maybe in Europe, because my family’s from Europe,” said Snaider.
When asked what he thought was the hardest part of being a student athlete, Snaider responded, “Managing times, and the sport with the classrooms. Mainly when you’re in season, you train a lot, because you have early workouts that make you tired before the next class and then when you have projects. It’s just the price you pay to keep doing the sport you like.”
In addition to being an international student, Snaider is also a transfer. Before he came to Mercer last semester, Snaider attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in South Georgia. He said that he came to the United States to study because his parents wanted him to. “My older sister came, and there was a year I didn’t play tennis much. I got exhausted of it, pretty much every athlete does,” Snaider said. “And I don’t really like being in the same place for long. So I said, okay, my parents want me to come, I’ll try to go. I really like America.”
When asked who his favorite faculty member at Mercer was, Snaider said that it was Ray Tatum, assistant vice president and director of admissions. “It was hard to get here because of NCAA rules and I didn’t know much,” said Snaider. “He does a really good job by following up with us international students and making sure we don’t need anything. He helped me a lot.”
Snaider said that one advantage that he thinks he has in life is the ability to adapt to cultures very easily. He’s lived in Italy, Argentina. He has family in Germany, where his brothers are currently living. “The culture shock doesn’t really affect me,” said Snaider.
When asked if he had a special routine to pump himself up before a match, Snaider replied that he typically listens to music. “If I’m nervous, I like to listen to slow music, if I need to chill out and relax, I listen to more hard music.”