Being a student-athlete is like having a full-time job. You have many early mornings and find yourself spending way too much time in the field house. Despite how chaotic it can be, being a college athlete is an amazing and exciting opportunity. I'm a junior on the cross country and track team at the University of New Hampshire, so I've had a couple years of experience of what it's like to be on a sports team that competes for all three seasons. Here are some of the things I've realized:
1. You are a master of time management
Between going to practice, sitting in class, and studying, there really isn't much time for you to have a social life. Thanks to your planner and a lot of self-control, you eventually get managing your time down to a science after a few very stressful weeks.
2. You're always tired
Being an athlete and training at a high level means that you need to make sure you recover and get lots of sleep. Workouts are hard and you often find yourself wanting to be able to crawl back into bed. This doesn't always happen because of your busy schedule. Those rare days when you have time to take a nap are not to be taken for granted.
3. You realize how much walking you have to do as a college stuent
You're already tired from practice and then you realize how far you have to walk to get to class. It's best not to think about how hilly campus is.
4. You never struggle to think of a fun fact during syllabus week
Ice breakers can be pretty awkward and uncomfortable and there is no avoiding them during the first week of class. Lucky for you, you already have a fun fact about yourself: You're on a sports team!
5. You are sometimes concerned by the amount of food you can eat
Exercising every day burns a lot of calories, which means you need to recover by getting calories back in. Athletes have faster metabolisms and need to eat more than people who don't exercise as much. Food is not your enemy! My friends who don't do sports are always surprised when I eat twice as much as them when we go out to dinner, but hey, a girl's gotta fuel up!
6. You have a strong work ethic
Being on a sports team makes you a very motivated person, and you know what it feels like achieve a goal after months of hard work. You sometimes have doubts, like anyone else, but you know that all the sacrifices you make will pay off in the end!
7. You are proud to be a on a sports team
Being on a sports team makes you feel super cool and it's fun to rock your team gear around campus. Having a team to be a part of gives a feeling of belonging at school and a better sense of your own identity.
8. Your teammates are your best friends
You may start to realize that you're only friends with people on your team, but these people will become best friends and you will be inseparable. You've all seen each other at your worst and your very best. Teammates have the strongest bond because you all have to work together to achieve your goals (and besides, by now, they know way too much). These are the kinds of people you'll be friends with for a very long time!
9. You wouldn't change anything!
Despite how hard and stressful it may be, you love being an athlete. Being on a sports team opens you up to so many opportunities and you get to meet some pretty awesome people. You wouldn't change anything even if you could!
I can't imagine my life any other way