What it takes to be a Tiger: Graphic Design meets Volleyball


Whether it’s running around on the Fort Hays State University volleyball court or spending countless hours in the graphics lab, Riley Tinder is no stranger to what it means to be a hard worker. 


“It is very challenging to do both at the same time, but I love each program so much that I could never sacrifice one for the other,” Tinder said. “Each program has such high expectations which is amazing, but I have to make sure I balance each one.”

Tinder, a sophomore from Basehor, explained that when growing up, sports were always a huge part of her life, but so was art. Coming to Fort Hays gave her the perfect opportunity to do both. 

“Growing up, sports were a huge part of my life and I was involved in many activities,” Tinder said. “In high school, I narrowed it down to volleyball, basketball, and track, but ultimately chose to pursue my love for volleyball at the collegiate level. I was also a very artistic kid who loved to draw and paint. That passion for creativity is what led me to graphic design.”

Tinder is in her second year of volleyball as well as the graphic design program. Graphic design requires anywhere from between 15-30 hours of homework a week, and volleyball requires multiple hours of practice per day. According to Tinder, it takes lots of time management to be able to do both. Being able to keep a healthy balance and staying organized between school and sports has proven to be successful for Tinder. 

“I do try to find a system that works for me. I work ahead in all my other nongraphics classes and do those assignments on the road to limit my workload. I have lots of schedules and lists that I keep because organization is key with a busy schedule,” she said. “Between volleyball and classes, I have to sacrifice a lot of time for homework, but because I love design, it is often something I enjoy.”

Tinder, an outside and right-side hitter for the Tiger Volleyball team, explained just how passionate she is about getting to play for Fort Hays. Getting to be a part of volleyball at Fort Hays has allowed her the opportunity to belong to something, and was a part of her dream growing up.

“College athletics are challenging, but teammates make it so much fun and are automatically people you can rely on for anything,” Tinder said. “Growing up so many athletes dream of playing their sport in college and it is a very cool thing to actually be living that dream.”

Tinder is a RS/OS hitter for the volleyball team

In a similar way to being a part of the volleyball team, Tinder also explained how being in the graphic design major is also like being on a team. Spending those long hours in the lab cultivates many friendships and creates a family-like environment.  

“I absolutely love the graphics program at FHSU. Although it is different from volleyball, it is like being a part of another team or family. Everyone is in it together and we all work together to accomplish so many great designs,” Tinder said. “I love that I get to learn about design and my creativity is pushed every single day. Even though this major is so challenging, I have already learned so much about the world of design that I didn’t even know was possible.”

Tinder said she isn’t exactly sure what she would like to do, post-graduation; although, she has quite a few ideas of how she would like to use graphic design and her sports career in the future.

“There are so many things I want to do after I graduate, but I will go wherever life takes me. I want to start at a marketing company or sports organization working on a design team,” Tinder said. “Eventually I would love to own my own business with possibilities of a boutique, coffee shop, or a T-shirt design company.”

It takes a lot to be a Tiger, and being a part of two very different and time-consuming things is just one example of the way students at Fort Hays go above and beyond to excel in the classroom, on the court, and in the community. It’s not easy to be a student that is involved in so much, but when students make it work, they begin to succeed in new ways they never thought possible. 

For more coverage on What It Takes To Be A Tiger, stay tuned each week to TMN. 

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