10 Things That Happen When A Division 1 Athlete Becomes A Grad Student
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Student Life

10 Things That Happen When A Division 1 Athlete Becomes A Grad Student

Some things I've noticed in approaching this new role.

10 Things That Happen When A Division 1 Athlete Becomes A Grad Student
Amanda Matsumoto

Two months ago, I began graduate school at the University of Louisville School of Medicine for Speech-Language Pathology. It’s pretty weird going from a student-athlete to just a regular student, AKA a NARP (non-athlete regular person), the one thing I dreaded becoming.

Well here I am, 5 months after my career ended, sitting as a NARP and here are 10 things I noticed that happens when you are a Division 1 Athlete turned Grad School Student:

1. You Realize How Vital Athletics Were to Your Success

Honestly, I don't think I would be where I am today if it weren't for the game. Being a Division 1 Athlete gave me life experiences, opportunities, and allowed me to meet people from all walks of life. It taught me to work with people I didn't like, discipline, time management, and how to overcome adversity. Playing a college sport gave you a strong drive and passion to accomplish your wildest dreams. It was a special experience and an opportunity that most people don't get. Not to mention it really stands out on a resume.

2. You Discover Who You Really Are

Softball defined who I was for a long time and I was honestly scared I was going to go through an identity crisis. While I know my identity is in Christ, I have also discovered new hobbies, new passions, and really gotten to know myself these last few months. I'm still the same me, but I'm also a constant work of becoming the best version of myself.

3. You suddenly have so much time

Going from having barely any time for anything except your sport and school to suddenly given all this free time is SO WEIRD. With so much time, you begin to miss your structured schedule.

4. You Have This Weird Discipline and Thrive under Time Constraints

Being used to a strict schedule of knowing when you need to study, eat, or perfect your craft, you recreate it by trying to get involved with as many things as possible and you schedule your days for times to eat, study, workout, take a nap etc.

5. Few Understand the Athlete Life

Few people in grad school tend to be able to relate and it's really cool getting to share your stories. As a college athlete, you pretty much hung around other athletes so it's cool to get outside that bubble and get to hear their experiences and meet people from other walks of life. People typically don't realize how difficult it was to play a Division 1 Sport, apply to grad schools, take the GRE and somehow have time to earn worthy credentials for my resume and often look at me with shock when I explain my life the last year.

5. People Don't Know About You Before You Meet Them

While it's nice that people don't know my stats, who I've dated, the mistakes I've made, or constantly reminding me of what I've accomplished athletically, it's pretty humbling becoming a regular student. No one cares if you broke records or were female athlete of the year. Everything you worked your life for athletically, becomes irrelevant. However, it is refreshing to have a clean slate and not have your past known.

6. You No Longer Have An Excuse to Rock the Hobo look and Have to Buy a New Wardrobe

The days of free clothes and team gear are over and now you have to dress like a professional. It's time to ditch the team sweats and trade them for a nice blouse and slacks. You can't blame 6 a.m. weights anymore and there's no excuses for why you looked like you just rolled out of bed. I literally have never fixed my hair or worn makeup this many consecutive days.

7. You Refuse to Gain Weight

Now that you're done with your sport, you have to actually work to maintain your figure. Being an athlete gave you that crazy drive to stay fit and healthy but it's a lot more work now.

8. You have the freedom to wear what you want, eat what you want, and post what you want

Gone are the days of being told what to wear, what to eat, and what you're allowed to post on your social media. It's weird but it's nice to not be constantly paranoid about your latest Snapchat post or feel like your life belongs to the NCAA.

9. You Relate Everything Back to Your Sports Days

Sorry for another softball story, but like that's all I've ever known.

10. Studying Consumes your life

You ditch the "sorry I have practice line" and trade it for "sorry, I'm studying." I have NEVER studied this much in my life. It blows.

While this new role is pretty weird, I love it at the same time. It's been the best thing for me and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I will forever be thankful for my time as an athlete and will approach life with the same drive and passion. That's a promise.

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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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