Every Thursday, GoStanford.com will present an interview with a Stanford women’s gymnastics alumna. This week, sophomore Maggie Teets features Beth Laughlin (‘88), who competed in the all around and earned a degree in psychology.
Maggie: Can you describe what you have been doing since graduating from Stanford?
Beth: Well it’s been a little while! I’ll give you the summary version. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I went on to complete my masters in counseling. Basically since I left, I’ve been working in the therapeutic industry supporting kids through their struggles. I work in the emotional-behavioral side of psychology. I’ve lived in Japan and Costa Rica helping start therapeutic boarding schools, which has been an amazing experience. Currently, I am working at a business that I started that helps kids transition home following treatment. We provide a therapeutic help for parents, as well as a mentor for the adolescents. It’s a 90-day bridge program that helps with the transition. So I’ve really enjoyed my work.
Maggie: What lessons have you carried with you from your experience on the Stanford gymnastics team?
Beth: I think the discipline, work ethic and focus required for gymnastics has applied to my work and life in general. It has taught me to be determined and perseverant for the things I want. Some people say that I really sacrificed being a “novel teenager,” but never felt that. I also love to travel, which is something that I took with me from gymnastics.
Maggie: What are your favorite Stanford memories outside of gymnastics?
Beth: It’s been such a long time. I’m pulling cobwebs [laughs]. I enjoyed the football games and living in Branner. Being a Brannerite was something very special. I made some great friends; friends that have stayed with me 20 plus years later. The relationships are very important, and something that I carry with me. The education was great, but what I walked away with were the social experience and relationships that continued after college.
Maggie: What is your favorite place on campus:
Beth: Oh the Quad. Especially at night with the lights shining up on church; it was beautiful. Senior year I lived in Sweets, and I really enjoyed that too.
Maggie: What was your favorite class?
Beth: I did a summer semester my junior year and took a social psychology course. It had only 10 students, so there was great dialogue and material. No statistics. I did not like anything with math.
Maggie: Do you have any advice for the girls on the SWG team now?
Beth: Enjoy the experience of being on the team and the automatic community that forms because of all the time spent training and traveling. Have fun with them. Also, find that balance of doing your sport and the college experience. You’re so young, it’s hard to take advantage, but I encourage you to really appreciate the experience.