For just about as long as I can remember I was in a uniform with a ball in my hand. Some of my greatest memories of friendship and success come from playing sports, for me it was basketball and softball.
As senior year of high school rolled around I had to choose where I was going to college. I decided sports wouldn’t be a part of the picture for me. It was time to focus on me and transform my athlete image into a regular college student.
For those of you who do not know what a NARP is, it stands for Non-Athletic Regular People. At first I was scared of not having sports in my back pocket anymore once I did get to college. My dad and brother played collegiate baseball, so I felt like I should’ve kept the trend going. But I had to do what was right for me.
I knew I was talented enough to play in college, but after college where would sports take me? Realistically I wouldn’t move onto the WBNA or the USA Women’s Softball team either. That’s when it hit me, being in college was the best time to devote time into me.
College is “the best four years of your life,” from what many told me. So why not enjoy the best four years of my life making a personal investment? I’m going to let myself be selfish with my decision making, because it’s okay! When you invest in yourself you get 100% back in return of your investment.
Freshman year of college was the hardest year for transitioning purposes. I was away from my family and friends. So that meant making new friends and finding new hobbies. One thing I quickly learned was how much time I have on my hands. That was new to me.
Sophomore year was the year I focused on my academics. I was taking a heavy course load and classes that pushed me mentally, physically, and definitely emotionally. I used my athletic mentality to push me through the hard times, because I don’t give up. I refuse to.
Junior year, the year of fun! Not that I never had fun before, but as my college years starting dwindling I’m realizing I won’t get to do all the things I’ve done before. These include late night car rides singing Beyoncé with my friends at the top of our lungs, getting Chinese food take out at 11pm, and playing Just Dance on the Wii at random times during the day.
As for senior year, who knows what I’ll focus on the most. I know that many others will start their transition into the NARP life during their senior year as well.
Being a NARP isn’t so bad!! I feel my time has been efficient in making me happy. Plus, you meet many other NARPs along the way. You’re never alone in the transition.
I’m sure you other NARPs get asked questions all the time about sports and what not. The three frequently asked questions I get are:
- Why didn’t you play in college?
- Do you miss playing?
- Do you think you’ll ever play again?
The amount of times I hear that question is crazy! This is probably the most heartbreaking question because I knew I was capable of playing. We all have our reasons, but we all play our last game someday.
OF COURSE I DO!! I miss playing all the time, although I don’t think I would have the same appreciation for the sports if I continued in college.
I got this question in the earlier stage of the transition. I mean there’s always pick-up games or just getting a group of friends together to shoot or play catch, but let’s be real. It’s never the same as the glory days.
There’s no right or wrong way on taking footsteps into NARP life. Take baby steps or cannon ball right in for the big splash. All that matters is that you have fun finding out what makes you just as happy as sports have in your life. Just remember the memories and the thrill of life don’t end because sports came to a finish; it’s just the next chapter.
Turn the page.