From a High School Athlete to a ‘NARP’?
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From a High School Athlete to a ‘NARP’?

Advice from a College Senior

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From a High School Athlete to a ‘NARP’?
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For many incoming freshmen, college is a huge step towards adulthood with this difficult little transition period that likes to prey on the poor souls who don’t know how to study, manage their time effectively, and think 8 AM classes will be a breeze. This transition can become even more difficult and emotional if you are a former high school athlete.

Over the course of four years I played softball, basketball, and golf. Cheered on the varsity football cheerleading and competition teams, and performed with the colorguard as a member of the marching band (It’s a sport of the arts). None of them would transfer over to the collegiate level.

So, what happens when you either didn’t get recruited by a college or you just don’t want to compete on the next level? Instead of being a student-athlete, you are now a traditional college student or what some lovingly refer to as a ‘NARP.’

For those of you who do not know what the term means, NARP stands for ‘Non-Athletic Regular Person,’ or those of us in college (sometimes high school) who either no longer compete in sports or have never even played a sport. It is an acronym of unknown origin that some people generally dislike, underclassmen athletes like to overuse, and a lot of upperclassmen forget was even a thing by the time graduation rolls around.

It’s a term some athletes use in a condescending way, but for the majority it is usually used in a joking manner. But it does cause some friction to build between members of both groups. As there are many in both groups who just genuinely enjoy butting heads and arguing why they think they have it worse than the person next to them in class. Judging them because they may or may not be wearing Nike gear with the school’s athletic logo printed on it. Its college, it’s not easy for anyone. That is the entire point.

Now both the student-athlete and traditional student have hurdles to jump over in college. Student-athletes must balance scheduling classes around treatments, meetings, practices, and missing class to travel for games. The traditional student must balance classes, scheduling work around those classes, internships, and membership in campus clubs and professional organizations so they have something that sets them apart on their resume. The level of struggle varies from person to person and is never completely even.

Some see being a traditional student after being a high school athlete as a blessing, because to them it means more time to get involved and do the things that sports didn’t allow time for in high school. Some dread life as a traditional student because when you commit so many years of your life to playing sports and don’t make it to the next level it can feel like your world has been thrown into chaos, because up until that point you knew what you had to do everyday season after season. Same goes for life as a student-athlete, there is pros and there is cons.

So here is my little piece of advice to those incoming freshmen I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Don’t take the term ‘NARP’ to heart. You have more important things to worry about than a term you’re going to forget about by the time you’re a senior. Take your classes seriously, manage your time wisely. If you still want to play a sport and your school fields a team, reach out to the coach and ask about trying to walk on. If you don’t want to compete on the collegiate level but still want to play, look at intramural and club teams. If you don’t want to compete at all, then don’t. All the options are there and it doesn’t matter which one you choose.

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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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