From Student-Athlete to N.A.R.P: The Transition

From Student-Athlete to N.A.R.P: The Transition

From Student-Athlete to N.A.R.P. is a series that will talk about what it is like to be a student-athlete, as well as a regular student. This first part of the series, The Transition discusses the pros and cons of both.

Laneisha Jeans

They're the easiest to spot on campus. You'll see them covered in head to toe in school gear- their backpack probably even has their name and their number on it. They're normally seen in groups or pairs, rarely ever alone. There will be a handful of them in your classes, sometimes just one or two depending on your major. Who might I be talking about?

You guessed it. The student-athletes.

People are always talking about what it is like to be a student-athlete, but what is it like to be a "has been"?

I've been a student-athlete for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until I transferred to USF, that I became a regular student. I stopped playing division 1 basketball to focus on school and my future career. Being a student-athlete isn't all it's cracked up to be. Yes, you do get the free gear, you're never alone and always have your teammates, but even though it seems like we have everything, there are definitely pros and cons.

Being on both sides of the spectrum has been a extensive transition. What's the other side you ask? I am going to call myself a N.A.R.P., Non-Athletic Regular Person. Although I am still "athletic", I don't play any intramural sports on campus, I go to the gym when I can, and I most definitely am no longer a "student-athlete".

This transition has been a cluster of confusion, especially being a senior transfer student at USF. First off, as a student-athlete, my coaches always made my schedule for me. I never asked any questions, and they just handed it. BUT, as a N.A.R.P., I didn't even know the first step in registering for classes, how to use degree works, or even which classes to take! It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and the most important task I needed to finish to get my academic career started at USF.

Not only that, I am now starving. EVERYDAY. I don't pay for a meal plan, and when I was a student-athlete that was already a given. I commute to class and sometimes I'll bring food from home, or snacks, but nothing beats being able to walk to the school cafeteria and get whatever you want.

Next is, getting involved on campus. When you go from living on campus dorms to commuting from St. Pete to campus, you have no idea what is going on, or what events are happening on campus. My coaches used to keep us up to date on all of the events, and sometimes we would even go as a team. Now, I actually have to read my email, consistently check the school's website and calendar, and decide if I want to go (going to these events is now a choice, not an obligation like it used to be).

In addition, being a student-athlete, you have to battle with the student-athlete stereotypes. Some professors will automatically pre-judge you because you're an athlete, as will some students. Some students don't want to do group projects with you because they think you'll be gone traveling so much. Some professors don't care if you miss class due to games, they want you to get the work done regardless. But now, as a N.A.R.P., I am an equal, just like the other students in a class.

Being a N.A.R.P., has a ton of perks don't get me wrong. Student-athlete life may seem like its amazing, but here is the tea.

The first privilege you get as a regular student is TIME. Being a student-athlete, you owe your time to your coaches, to your team, and to the program. You can't opt out to travel because you have to stay on campus for a project. That would be equivalent to getting paid when you never show up for work (in a perfect world). Your scholarship is what is paying for you to go to school, so you have to pay homage to that as a student-athlete.

The next pro about about being a regular student, is actually being able to enjoy school breaks. When you're a student-athlete, whether it's spring break, winter break, thanksgiving break, or even MLK day, you are either practicing, watching film, or conditioning. There are no days off whatsoever. When I was playing, I once had only 4 days for winter break to go home, and I had to be back and ready to practice on CHRISTMAS DAY. Yup, Christmas Day.

As a regular student, you also get freedom. Freedom to do what you want, nothing holding you back. You can do your homework on your own time, you are not required to go to x amount of hours at study hall. You can decide to go to the gym if you want, or not go if you don't want to.

And, although making your schedule can be difficult, you can make it yourself! You don't have to take certain classes or move courses around your practice times. You can take night classes, day classes, even online classes whenever! The world is practically yours.

Lastly, you get to make your own friends and college experiences. Being a student-athlete, you're basically put into this pool full of people you don't know, and you're forced to do every single thing with them and hopefully get along. If you don't get along, you still have to see these people everyday and be cordial. When you're a regular student, the friends you make are fully up to you, and you have the freedom to venture out and meet more people. Sometimes as a student-athlete you can get trapped in the student-athlete bubble. I never had time to join any clubs or organizations when I was playing. In my free time I was either doing homework, or practicing. However, now I am able to be a part of the campus community, AKA, "The Odyssey" (which I am so thankful to be a part of!).

Sometimes I do miss being a student-athlete, but then I remember that being a regular student isn't so bad. You have more freedom, time, and energy that's for sure. Which would you rather be?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments