For some, falling in love does not come easy, but for Ida Langer, it was almost natural. The 19-year-old freshman soccer player remembers first playing with her brothers in the backyard, then getting the chance to play organized soccer at the age of ten and never looking back.
Growing up almost 5,000 miles away in Karlstad, Sweden, Langer decided to come to the United States when she was 16. She planned on staying here for one year to get a new experience, but that year quickly turned into two, then three.
She attended IMG Academy, a school with an elite athletics program. The school’s mission was to get all of their students to play their respective sports at the college level. This idea was something Langer had not planned on pursuing.
“I never planned on going to college in America,” Langer said. “I just came for one year to get a new experience.”
Going to school at IMG was certainly an experience for Langer. She described it as “very intense, with a lot of expectations.” This type of schooling got her ready to compete in the college ranks.
“It was like a mini college experience,” Langer said. “You go to school for a little bit, and then play sports the rest of the day. It’s like a sports paradise.”
Still, Langer had a decision to make. If she returned home, she would have to repeat the academic years she had taken here.
Similarly, if she graduated here, she would receive a degree with value in America, but meaning nothing in Sweden. She decided to graduate and continue her schooling and soccer career in the United States.
After deciding to stay, Langer found herself in the midst of her senior year of high school, contemplating whether or not to play soccer for an American university. Reflecting on her soccer career, Langer felt it was essential to continue her sport and narrowed the potential college destinations to Stetson, Embry-Riddle, Eastern Florida State College and Lynn.
Ultimately, she decided on Lynn. Like so many other students, Langer was drawn to the location and the size of the school.
“I like it here,” said Langer. “I get to go to the beach. In my free time, it is like a mini vacation.” Only one thing could make this paradise better, Langer felt. “If my family was here, it would be perfect.”
As for the soccer aspect of her choosing Lynn, Langer says Coach Cally really drew her in. “I felt wanted,” Langer said. “And financially it worked out, too.”
Despite ultimately staying in America for longer than anticipated, Langer agrees that there is no better feeling than having the opportunity to wake up each day to play the game she loves and live the life of her childhood dreams.