Alumnus Spotlight: Ben Miller


Eliza Miller

Following a morning of anticipation and even a couple hours of warming up on the field, Penn’s Quakers were abruptly informed on March 11, 2020, that the coronavirus pandemic would catalyze a premature end to their season just before their ninth game commenced. “It was very upsetting,” Miller confessed, “It came as a surprise to all of us.” As a freshman, Ben was at least able to look forward to future Penn baseball seasons, but the seniors on his team couldn’t say the same. Thankfully, the players got back a year of “eligibility,” and can choose to play one year of collegiate baseball in graduate school to make up for the one that was lost. Ben Miller himself is planning to utilize this opportunity as he furthers his education.


Until these future seasons, Ben is far from on break. Though his team can’t hold formal practices, he says that his coaches have been diligent about keeping in touch and giving them things to do. “We had an amazing opportunity to participate in a fall collegiate league about 30 minutes outside of Philly,” Miller explains. While he admits that it has been difficult to maintain his ability level, one can expect the team to be in good shape for next season. 


Because of the persisting pandemic, the Ivy League has recently announced that this next season will be postponed until March 1st, 2021. I asked Ben how he feels about this, and what he expects Penn baseball games to look like. “I’m doing my best not to worry about that because I have no control over it,” he wisely responded, offering some good advice to the many individuals facing uncertainty and potential disappointments in these next few months. 


As an Ivy League student in addition to a collegiate baseball player, Ben has a unique compilation of responsibilities, so I asked him if he has any tips for managing them now that self-motivation is crucial. “My biggest suggestion is maintaining a schedule,” he recommends, “Try to wake up around the same time you would normally, go to sleep around the same time every night. Otherwise it’s easy to feel unmotivated.” 


One last tip from Ben Miller regards staying safe during the pandemic. Having previously contracted COVID-19, Ben is a strong advocate of mask wearing. His symptoms lasted about a week, and he attests to the disease’s brutality. Ben does acknowledge that social interaction is important to avoid getting overwhelmed about the situation, so he advises that you “hold others accountable that are within your ‘pod’ (small group that you’re consistently with i.e. housemates, close friends).” In doing this and wearing a mask, it’s possible to safely interact with others while minimizing the risks associated with the spreading of this disease. 


Overall, Ben has been enjoying his time at the University of Pennsylvania, and advises everyone to stay hopeful, stay motivated, and stay safe!