Being A Division I Athlete Isn't Just About Being An Athlete

Being A Division I Athlete Isn't Just About Being An Athlete

As a collegiate athlete, especially at the Division I level, you are expected to be the best of the best, not only in your sport but also in the classroom.
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"Athletes get into any school if they are good enough at their sport."

"They could just fail out of school and it would not matter at all."

Let me just start here: where everyone thinks they know exactly what they're talking about when in reality they are so far from correct.

As a collegiate athlete, especially at the Division I level, you are expected to be the best of the best, not only in your sport but also in the classroom. But in actuality, it does not matter how good you are if you do not have the grades to back you up.

We are STUDENT athletes.

No matter how much we jokingly say otherwise, school will always come first.

As an athlete, you are representing the entire school in every race, game or match, and you must wear your school's name with pride and respect. A collegiate athlete is expected to be a well-rounded student who happens to have a special talent in their particular sport.

A Division I athlete is not much different than Division II or III, except the aspect of training and maybe a little more success in high school.

Coming from a very successful and prestigious rowing team in high school, I always knew I wanted to be Division I because I was always taught to work to be the best at whatever I encounter in my life.

The 20 (or more) hours of practice a week, plus school, plus visits to Sports Med to fix any nagging pains, plus just being a college student in general, seems to take up more hours of the day then there even are to offer, but somehow we all get it done.

Somehow, at the end of the day, we are able to sit back and reflect on how lucky we are to attend the amazing school we are at and to play the sports we love so much and be truly grateful.

I think I can speak for all athletes when saying that the most rewarding feeling is when you know you are getting better. When you know you made that positive change in the right direction, that will, in turn, help you become a better athlete.

I just wanted to clear the air on the fact that student-athletes are students first, but we also are athletes who work to our fullest potential and even more because it is who we are, and our minds are and will always be set on being the best of the best.

We will stop at nothing to keep fighting for that to happen.

Cover Image Credit: Lilly O'Sullivan

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

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36 Instagram Captions For Every Alabama Game Day Rivalry On The Road To 18

Because we all love a witty Instagram caption.

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There are less than 100 days until Alabama kickoff, and I can already hear the fight song playing, I can already picture a sea of fans donning crimson and houndstooth and I can already feel goosebumps thinking about having that first-of-the-season Yellow Hammer from Gallette's. I can't wait to scroll through Instagram and see 'candid' photos of fans linking arms in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium or sitting in a booth at Innisfree with "Sabanades" in their hands or standing in the stadium steps waving shakers. There will be the same captions under photos like, "Roll Tide," "RTR," "#BEAT(insert rival school name here)." Here's my time to help.

Forget trying to choose the correct filter recipe on VSCO. It takes a lot more effort to think of a caption that isn't too long but isn't unfunny. The point of a caption is to get your followers to crack a laugh and make the photo that much better. I like to use popular song lyrics or common phrases and substitute certain words that coincide with Alabama football. I also like to use silly questions or statements that either I think of or I hear people say around me. It's all about being funny, a bit sarcastic and having a bit of whimsy.

Below I've provided a few examples of cool captions you can use when posting on Instagram during gameday.

vs. Louisville Cardinals

1. 205 vs. 502

2. Came to Orlando to watch the Cards say "oh no"

3. Is it Louisville or Loserville?

vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

1. Standing in a stadium full of winners and l(Arkansas State)osers.

2. We won. We won. Now Wolves please begone.

3. J-Town came to T-Town for a Showdown.

vs. Ole Miss Rebels

1. The Tide is high in Rebel Country.

2. With a flick of the wrist, we beat Ole Miss.

3. Ole Miss lost to us 51 times. Let's make it 52.

vs. Texas A&M Aggies

1. Mom, I'm going out to watch Bama beat the Aggies.

2. Hey Ags, the winning train is leaving and you're just getting left.

3. Gig Em < Roll Tide

vs. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

1. Bama will show Louisana who really knows how to rage.

2. Louisiana, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.

3. ULL, you're not invited to the A-Team party

vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

1. Ark, you can't compete with the Crimson Caliber.

2. The itty pitty piggy cried 'Woo Pig Sooie' all the way home.

3. Fayetteville is my least favorite F word.

vs. Missouri Tigers

1. Go back to your litter box, Mizzou.

2. You're just an itty bitty kitty and Bama ain't scared of you.

3. The Tide has The Tigers screaming may-day.

vs. Tennessee Volunteers

1. Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. How many Vols fans wanna go?

2. "I hate Tennesse because, first of all, it's Tennessee." - Irvin Carney

3. Let's roll over those Vols.

vs. LSU Tigers

1. I smell corndogs and a Tide win.

2. LS-Who? No seriously? Who?

3. Bippity, Boppity, Boo. Bama just beat you.

vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

1. Let's teach those Bulldogs how to behave.

2. We're in Starkvegas. So Dogs, prepare to get dealt.

3. Crimson has always been superior to Maroon.

vs. The Citadel Bulldogs

1. Citadel wants the same lesson we taught MSU.

2. Straight to their knees when they hear R-M-F-T!

3. Citadel traveled over 500 miles to lose to the Tide.

vs. Auburn Tigers

1. Auburn thinks they're winning? I have to laugh.

2. This year, I'm thankful for another Iron Bowl win.

3. Elephants never forget the smell of tearful Tigers.

These are all in good fun and not to be taken with any bad intention. We all love a good rivalry, don't we? This football season, make sure your captions are witty, hilarious and unforgettable. Happy captioning!

If you use them or a variation of them, tag me in your photos on Instagram @jerome.fc!

Cover Image Credit:

@jerome.fc / Instagram

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