8 Lessons For The First-Semester College Athlete

8 Lessons For The First-Semester College Athlete

Welcome to the show.


You dreamed of being here. You worked as hard as you could to meet this one goal. You gave everything you had to get here. Welcome. Give yourself a quick pat on the back. The first semester of college sports is a whole whirlwind of emotions from fear to excitement to disappointment to stress to pure bliss. Here are 8 things I learned in my first semester as a college athlete that I remind myself every day.

1. Trust the process. 

Everything comes in time, and people will get what they deserve. Don't give up on your self-improvement because you don't see immediate results.

2. Think big picture.

This is only the first semester of your first year in collegiate athletics. Relax. Breathe a little. Don't be consumed by one bad day at practice. Move on. The past is the past. There is plenty of future to worry about.

3. Control the controllable.

There are only two things that you can realistically control, your effort and your attitude. And the minute you think that you can control someone else is the minute you will fall behind. Be your best every day. Go to bed being able to say, "I gave everything I had to give today."

4. Mistakes are inevitable.

You will get farther in life if you accept failure with open arms. Greet it like an old friend. If you are afraid to fail, you will never improve.

5. Step up in every opportunity you are given. 

Chances are few and far between. Make the most of every chance, no matter how small. Don't take them for granted, because once you step up, everyone else will be on your heels.

6. Nothing comes easy. 

Come ready to work, or don't come at all. You're either all in, or in the way. Opportunity will rarely be handed to you. So, work your hardest when no one is looking, so that when that opportunity is on the line, you can take it.

7. Play for those who can't.

Play for those who can't, because someday, that could be you. Play for those who can't, because someday you could be the one with a career-ending injury. Play for those who can't, because there will come a day when your competitive career comes to an end. Play for those who can't, because you never know what can happen. Play every game like it's your last.

8. The game is small.

Life is more than a sport. It's more than a game. It's more than a playoff run, it's more than a championship appearance. Enjoy the little moments in between those games, in between those playoff runs and championship appearances. Enjoy the bus rides where you belt out the lyrics to everyone's favorite song. Enjoy the moments off the ice, field, or court. Enjoy the victory dinners and the movie nights after a tough loss. The game is small, make memories that will last longer than your athletic ability.

An unwritten lesson: listen to your coaches, listen to your captains, listen to your teammates. They just might give you lessons that you can pass on to the next round of first-semester athletes.

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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