10 Lessons I Learned As A College Athlete That I Couldn't Learn In The Classroom

10 Lessons I Learned As A College Athlete That I Couldn't Learn In The Classroom

I love what I do.
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Simply put, being a college athlete is hard. Not only are you balancing a class schedule, and attempting to have a social life, but you have to worry about what time practice is at, when the training room is open, and what day you have to leave in the middle of the school week for a race. All of these added stresses may be time-consuming, but being a college athlete is an honor that I will cherish forever.

I will always be grateful, and I will always love that I decided to run for TCU. Although I am just a sophomore, I know that becoming a college athlete has helped me become more responsible, determined, self-sufficient and hardworking.

1. Sleep is key

I know this goes without saying, but sleep is so important. Sleep is the best way your body can recover, and when you're lifting or running multiple hours a day it is important to help your body recharge.

2. You're not going to have the "normal" college experience

You have to accept the fact that your college experience is just going to be different than everyone else, but that is not a bad thing. In my opinion, I think it is an amazing thing. Yea maybe you don't have the ability to join a sorority or fraternity, but your team is your family. Maybe you can't go out every day of the week because of practice and races, but you get to fly for free to different parts of the country to represent your school! Also, there are quite a few perks.

3. You are going to be an expert on time management

Morning practice at 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., class from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., training room from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., night class 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.! Great, I have an hour and a half in-between class and training room I can get some homework done..

This is kind of what your life becomes. You have to make plans everyday to figure out how you can squeeze something in. However, you will have time management perfected when you head into the real world, so that's a plus.

4. You are going to miss A LOT of school

Since you have to travel to races, games, or matches almost every weekend, you may end up missing a lot of school. This can be stressful at times, but if you've perfected your time management, you can conquer this small problem in no time, and hey, at least you get to travel!

5. You get to experience new places

I am only a sophomore at TCU, but I have traveled to New Mexico, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, and I have seen a large portion of Texas. In my opinion that is really cool, considering that I do not have to pay for these trips, and I get to do what I love and compete for my school.

6. Sometimes you are going to show up to class sweaty and smelly

This is just a fact of life. You are not going to look your best all the time. I think most athletes can agree that putting on a pair of jeans is now your idea of dressing up.There will be many cases when you have to go straight to class after a workout. You may not look "hot", as some may say, but you need to own it.

7. You are going to be hungry all the time

Since you are constantly working out, your body is always going to want to eat. Not only are you using up all your energy throughout the day at school, but you are also in practice for three hours a day. Personally, I don't think this is a bad thing. You get to eat more in order to fuel your body, and who doesn't love eating?

8. You get to represent your school doing something you love

Not only do you attend your college, but you also get to compete to make your college better. As a college athlete, you get to step on the court, field, or track and know you're representing your amazing school.

9. You're going to meet the best people ever

Maybe when you're a college athlete you can't be a part of greek life, but I think being a part of a team may be even better. You are surrounded by people who are as determined as you, and all they want is for you to succeed. Through thick and thin, they have your back.

10. You know in your heart that becoming a college athlete is one of the best decisions you've ever made

Although it can be hard sometimes, you know deep down it is one of the best decisions you have ever made. Not only do you gain friendships that will last forever, but you also become more responsible and dedicated. You get to represent your amazing school by doing what you love.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsay Tomaini

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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