The only routine she's missing is of the rollup-the-rim variety.
For Mallory Sall, life at Minot State University is a new beginning.
The 18-year-old Port Coquitlam native has jumped into studies and athletics at the North Dakota university and is turning heads - as well as opposing smashes.
Besides her family and friends, the one thing she misses the most is the neighbourhood Tim Horton's.
"I miss Tim Horton's a lot," Sall said with a laugh in a telephone interview Monday with The NOW. "It's so good, I went every morning before practice and got my Riverside (secondary) coach and myself a cup. It's the one thing, besides my family, that I'm homesick for."
Minot, located 88 kilometres south of the North Dakota-Manitoba border, is truly a college town. Nicknamed 'Magic City' from its quick rise as a bare stop for the Great Northern Railway in the 1880s to a bustling townsite, Minot is like so many prairie cities where the summers are hot and the winters cold and snowy.
While you may find donuts and Starbucks in Minot, the nearest Tim Horton's is a lengthy drive away. Putting that double-double aside, Sall has managed to thrive as a member of the Beavers women's volleyball team.
The six-foot tall outside hitter posted 30 kills and 14 digs last week to power Minot past the University of Mary for its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory of the season.
The win was a huge boost for the squad, which has struggled to a 5-19 record. One of four Canadians on a roster that features eight freshmen, Sall is mildly surprised to have emerged with such a prominent role as a rookie. She says all the success she's experienced is a result of the players around her and those who prepared her for the next challenge.
"Yeah, I got the big kill [against Mary] but there's so much more than that. It's all a team effort. You can't get the big kill if no one's setting you," she noted.
Her numbers highlight her well-rounded talents on the volleyball court, honed through many years of training and practicing under the guidance of coaches like Riverside's Bryan Gee.
"I am a little surprised," she said of the smooth transition.
"I didn't expect to be so successful this quickly, but it's not just me, it's my team making it all happen. There's also the foundation you come in with, we had an amazing coach [Gee] who helped me get to where I am."
A year ago, the teenager was part of the No. 1-ranked Rapids, who rolled into the provincials as the undefeated favourites. Despite a season that saw them reach so many team and personal highs, the loss to Kelowna in the championship final resonated for a long time, Sall said.
"It was really, really tough," she recalled. "I learned a tremendous amount from that. Every loss you go home and look in the mirror and wonder what you can learn from it."
Undeclared as to her major, Sall said the adjustment as a student has gone fairly well. Being proactive and self-motivated is the main difference between being a high school and university student.
"Everything is kind of new, not just my surroundings. What you understand is how it isn't the teachers pushing you to finish tasks [anymore], instead they are clear - 'This is what I'm going to do for you, and if you do it, good.'"
While she has stemmed her homesickness a bit by Skyping with her family, there are certain realities to going to a new, strange place that caused her to see things with fresh eyes.
"It's kind of a culture shock - everything is so different from [home]," said Sall.
"The weather, the people, everything is new. I think while I am homesick a bit, this is what I was looking for. I really wanted something new, a brand new experience."