7 Things To Expect Freshman Year As A Division 1 Athlete
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7 Things To Expect Freshman Year As A Division 1 Athlete

You've been working your whole life for this. You're ready.

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7 Things To Expect Freshman Year As A Division 1 Athlete

Congrats! You’ve won the athletic lottery and are lucky enough to continue playing the sport you’ve loved your entire life at one of the highest levels! You’ve attained something that a mere 2 percent of high school athletes do: you’re playing Division I athletics. Some may say you’re living the dream and others may call you crazy, but you think you know what you’re getting yourself into. You dream before you leave for school of the free clothes, road trips, and crowds of people that come out to support your team. Playing at the NCAA’s highest level comes at a price that you really can’t quantify. But fear no more, freshman. Here’s a list of things that you can expect as the “new guys” to your respective teams:

1. You’re going to be jealous of NARPs.

NARP (n): Non-Athletic Regular Person. Used in a sentence: Man, I really wish I was a NARP and didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning.

You’re going to want to know how the other side lives and how in the world some people find the time to balance a social life, part-time job, 16 clubs, and pull off a 4.0 every single semester (and still have free time??). It seems nearly impossible, but student-athletes really can do it all with a lot of hard work, I promise.

2. You’ll become a master at prioritizing and time management.

Saying you can do it all doesn’t come without a hefty price. You’re given no choice but to plan what is important and what can wait until tomorrow. When you have the paper due for that class in your major at 11 a.m. the next morning, you begin to realize that skimming over that reading for that elective really isn’t going to hurt.

3. You will be tested: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Physically: You don’t think you have that extra sprint in you when your legs feel like Jell-O. Trust me, you do.

Mentally: You’re tired from practice, but you need to finish that paper (and you definitely need to do it well). You’ll find that brain power somewhere in you.

Emotionally: When the world seems to be against you and you feel like you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown, you realize that you can do this and will seek motivation from your teammates who are there to help you through it all.

4. You’ll become so good at napping that you can almost put it on your resume.

Definitely don’t list that, but you will be able to fall asleep in no time, embracing that 10-minute nap that you’ve been craving all day. Your iPhone alarm will simultaneously become your best friend and worst enemy.

5. You’ll reach a level of sore you never knew existed.

There’s really nothing like maxing out your legs at 6 a.m. The feeling truly is indescribable.

But don’t you worry, squat, bench, and clean quickly become your nightmare and those post-lift endorphins will quickly turn into disappointment when you spot those two flights of stairs up to your dorm room. The only thing standing between you and your bed is that (and you’ve definitely counted and will possibly decide to crawl up them). Without a doubt, those stairs were clearly designed by someone who has never squatted their body weight before.


6. OFF days will give you life.

And on the seventh Day, God said, “Give the student-athletes off from their sport” as a time for relaxation and recovery (aka: spending hours in the library catching up on work you haven’t even begun to touch). You live for these days and need to utilize them for all they’re worth.


7. Your team will become your best friends.

There’s no way to deny that you will become the closest with the people you spend the most time with. You’ll experience the heartbreak of a loss and the joy of a win with these people and have similar failures and successes in school and on the field. These bonds will truly last a lifetime and are worth all the sweat, tears, and joy that this crazy life as an athlete brings.

So good luck, young grasshoppers. You’ve been working your whole life for this and I can assure you, you’re ready! Go get ‘em, kiddos.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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