3 Questions with Athlete Designer Allison Arriola

Student Allison Arriola kicks a soccer ball during a USF Women's Soccer game.

Senior Design student Allison Arriola came to USF to play on the girls’ Soccer Team and pursue her passion for graphic design. Here she talks about balancing her packed training schedule, intensive design projects, and how her two passions influences one another.


Why did you decide to study Design at USF?
I decided to come to USF because of my sports scholarship and it was a school with a design program. As a kid I always knew subjects like math and science were not for me. I always had a marker in my hand, and was drawing on my desk (my parents hated this, but we still have that desk at home). When I was about 10 years old, my dad told me I should get into graphic design, he was product designer at the time. When applying for college I knew I wanted to compete at a division 1 level while finding a good design program and USF is where I landed. Sports are my life but at the end of the day an education is my end goal. It all worked out.

Summer Camp attendees wearing shirts designed by Arriola

T shirt design for USF Women's soccer summer camps

T-shirts  for USF Women’s soccer summer camps designed by Allison Arriola.

How has it been balancing your sports career and your design classes?

Nothing prepared me for the work load college has. I’ve always been balancing school and soccer since I was 7, but college was nothing like I had prepared for. I would miss class for a travel day to compete and fall behind in class. Some professors were not always okay with me missing class, so I had to find alternative ways to keep up. During off season was tremendously difficult. A normal day would consist of a training from 7:30 – 8:30am, then rushing to class from 8:55 – 11:30ish. After class heading to another training at noon thats two hours long then a demanding weights session and then another class after that. The end of my day would be at study hall or doing homework. I got a job my junior year to make some extra money and it added to the long days. It was a FULL day to say the least. Today I tell myself I will never do anything more difficult. But it keeps me busy and taught me a lot. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is a blessing.


How have your passions for athletics and design been able to influence one another?
My passion for athletics and design correlate in a huge amount. I’ve always loved the idea of working as a team. Design is a constant collaboration with people while still maintaining individuality and that is something that will never get old to me. It also taught me how to accept “failure”. With any sport comes triumphs and defeats with that comes a certain level of discipline and determination to finish and accomplish any goal. In design, critiques have been great but also horrible, but just because it went bad doesn’t mean to stop. It is a constant trial and error process that takes will power and an insane amount of discipline to complete. Sports have taught me how work ethic is something I can always control and when it comes to design, I will always do my best and know I did everything to reach my final project. Working hard is something that I live by and thanks to sports it’s carried on to my future career and life as a whole.
USF Women's Soccer holds hands at the start of their game.

Design major Allison Arriola (4th in line) joins hands with her soccer team mates.