Student-Athlete Spotlight
May Bethea, Wrestling

Why did you choose Penn?

I had two brothers at Penn when I came here, and I knew that Penn would be the best fit for me. Penn presented an opportunity for me to challenge myself academically as well as compete at a high level athletically. Penn wrestling has a long tradition of success, and I was confident that I could reach my wrestling goals here. Coming to Penn I had no idea what I wanted to major in so it was important for me that I picked a school with numerous options. I was totally sold on coming after coming on a recruiting visit and meeting my future teammates.

What does the experience of being a Penn Wrestling student-athlete mean to you?

The experience of being a Penn wrestler has meant the world to me. It has been a central part of my life. Penn wrestling has been like a second family to me and has taught me valuable life lessons.

What has been your favorite moment/memory with Penn Wrestling?

My favorite moment with Penn wrestling is the 2016 NCAA tournament in New York City. It was a lot of fun competing at Madison Square Garden. Also, many Penn wrestling alumni were there. I enjoyed meeting many of them, and chatting with them about similar experiences that we had as Penn wrestlers. And it was a special moment watching Casey Kent earn All-American honors!

What has been your favorite class to date and why?

My favorite class so far has been Sociology of Media and Popular Culture. We discussed various topics such as commercials, restaurants, movies, and sports. One of our assignments was to watch the Super Bowl and write a paper on it.

What does life after Penn look like (where you live, what you will be doing)?

I am still trying to figure that out. I do not know what I want to do after graduating. I think that I will stay close to Philadelphia, but I am also considering option for grad school.

What are some lessons that you have learned through athletics at Penn that will stay with you after graduation?

I have learned countless lessons though being a Penn wrestler that will stay with me long after graduation. I learn from Penn wrestlers, coaches, and alumni daily. Wrestling at Penn has presented me with an opportunity to practice many of these lessons. Among the most important lessons that I learned are to overcome adversity, push myself to my limits, and continually improve myself. Over the course the season each team and individual will encounter some form of misfortune just like in life. It is a given. One must be prepared to persevere and find a solution. Sometimes we will not accomplish the result that we want, but we will know that we did our best. I have also learned to focus on personal growth. There is always room for improvement, and I enjoy growing in different parts of my life, as a wrestler, student, friend, teammate, brother, son, etc.


Last year, over 224 Penn Wrestling alumni, family and friends made a financial contribution to your program to help provide you with things like equipment, training tools, uniforms, travel to away meets, meals on the road, sports medicine and sports performance.  What would you say to those who invest in your experience as a Wrestling student-athlete?  

Thank You! I speak for the team when I say that we genuinely appreciate your donations. We know that the opportunities that we have would not be possible without your contributions. During our time as Penn wrestlers we have learned various life lessons, and had many priceless experiences. We are truly grateful for your support in making this possible. Understanding the value of being a Penn wrestler, we will one day give back to the team in hopes that young men can learn the lessons that we learned from being a part of the Penn wrestling family.