I Am A Division III Athlete
Start writing a post

Everyone knows them...the athletes. They're easy to spot in a sea of people.

Wearing their school colors with pride, seeming to the common eye like an advertisement that they, for some reason, could never stop running.

There are over 460,000 of them in the United States. Approximately 176,000 are Division I athletes, 118,800 Division II, and 187,800 Division III. I am one of "them". Yes, I am one of the over 460,000, but more importantly, I am one of the 187,800 students participating in Division III athletics. We are the greatest in number, have the highest academic success rate, and have the lowest percentage of students that participate in national championships.

When us DIII athletes decided to pursue sports in college, we did not make that decision lightly.

We knew that playing a sport at this level was going to be hard. Not just because of the many hours on the field, in the weight room, or at team study halls, but because of everything else we had to manage. From fundraising money, so we can actually go to different places to play other teams, to paying for our own gear, to running between practice and class, we have to do so much.

I'm not saying that DI and DII athletes don't, but I am saying that our responsibilities differ.

When we win, 100s or 1000s of people aren't waiting to congratulate us. When we lose, those same people are not upset that we lost. When we have personal successes, they aren't put on national platforms. When we pull a big upset, it is not talked about for days, let alone weeks, months or years. Our coaches are not household names. Nobody, except our friends and family (and maybe our opponents), knows who we are.

To us, that is OK. We knew what we were getting ourselves into, and decided to do it anyways. We don't play for the glory.

We play because we love the game so much we can't imagine our lives without it. We play because the game is a part of us, not because we want to be a part of the game. We don't get scholarships, we don't get free clothes, shoes, backpacks, etc., and quite frankly, we don't care because we do get to play the sport we love.

Our professors give us weird looks when we come to class with our cleats hanging from our bags because after it ends we have to (literally) run to practice.

Our classmates stare at us as we sit down because our backs are covered in sweat (we didn't have time to change after lift before class) Our friends ask us why we stay up so late (we didn't get back from our game until midnight and are expected to take an exam the next day). This is the life we chose. While other kids were signing letters of intent, we were signing unwritten contracts to be an athlete and still be treated like any other student.

Lucky for us, our coaches stress the importance of succeeding in the classroom, as well as on the field.

We chose to be students first and then athletes. Thankfully, our coaches understand that, and encourage us to push ourselves in both aspects. Our professors wish us good luck as we (attempt to) quietly sneak out of their class because we have to get to our game. They work with us to make up what we missed, and to succeed in their class. When they show up on the sidelines of our field, we are thankful that they support us in all aspects of our college careers.

We chose to pursue the education that we wanted, and still get to participate in our sport.

Often times, we run into parents of DI or II athletes, or the athlete themselves. Since we're always wearing our team gear, they ask where our school is, what division it is, what position we play, etc. When we say Division III, we can see their face shift, almost as if they feel bad for us; but we speak with pride because we know that being a DIII athlete is an experience that we will always be thankful for.

We are DIII athletes, and we are proud.

Report this Content
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

197911

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

16658

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

39236

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

10907

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

6387

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

5174
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

3970

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments