Part of the draw of going to a division three school was the fact that I could participate in sports. During my first semester on campus I was instantly thrown into fall ball for lacrosse and I couldn't have been happier with my decision to play a sport. I was instantly part of a team and I knew people on campus. It made my transition to college a little bit easier. However all of these positive things do come with their negatives too.
One of the hardest parts of being a student athlete is doing all of your homework in a smaller amount of time. You have practice for two hours and everyone else gets that time to do their homework. As a result, you spend more time after hours and during your free time finishing everything up. It may also mean putting in extra hours at the library on the weekends and staying in more often so you're not up late seven days of the week.
Something else that is hard about being a student athlete is missing out on other school activities because you're traveling or you have a daily practice. For example, I went through recruitment and joined Alpha Chi and I cannot tell you how many events I've missed because of lacrosse. It's not a bad thing, I just have to find other ways to be part of the house and bond with my pledge class. Not only do I miss out on my sorority events but I miss out on general DePauw activities but in it's own way being a part of a team is it's own activity.
I also want to say that breaks do not exist when you're a student athlete. While I do get to go home or find something cool to do during fall break, I spend spring break on campus or traveling with my team. I'm super excited to spend that time with them but as someone who is pretty homesick spending that week at home wouldn't be that bad. I would love to see my family more often.
Finally, as I touched on above, being student athlete means you have less free weekends or time meaning you may not get to do everything you want to do. It means finding alternative ways for creating your college experience. I may not get to see my family as much as I did last semester but it just means I'll appreciate my time with them even more. It also means having to turn down other offers from friends because I have to think not only about myself but also about my teammates.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being part of an athletic team and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Being a division three athlete allows me to do so much more than if I would have decided to play at a higher level. I love that I have these girls to support me both on and off of the field but there are drawbacks that I have to live with. So yeah, I may not be able to go to Florida with my roommate but I'm going to Tennessee with a pretty cool team and I may not see my family all of the time but I know these girls have become like my family and I wouldn't change my decision to be an athlete.