Things I Was Never Told Before Joining Collegiate Sports
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Things I Was Never Told Before Joining Collegiate Sports

You're in the big leagues now, kid.

Things I Was Never Told Before Joining Collegiate Sports

Now that I have finished probably the most difficult six months of my life so far, I can take a step back from what was also one of the best experiences of my life: collegiate swimming. Freshman year is a shock for every college student. Being able to learn how to juggle school and social life without having your parents tell you to actually sleep is hard enough, add a sport and you're put to the absolute test. Here are some things I was never told before joining college sports.

Sleep is for the weak, get used to running on empty

You don't want to be the kid going to bed at 8 P.M. every night, you could kiss your social life, and grades for that matter, goodbye. 6 A.M. practices become the norm and sleeping in until 7 A.M. or 8 A.M. on the weekends is considered a luxury. Coffee will also become your best friend, or Mountain Dew (you know who you are). Naps are also needed. Yeah, you may claim you can't nap, but just you wait.

Practices are hard

They're no walk in the park. I knew coming in that they would be difficult, but not this difficult. Plus, two-a-days is a whole other animal. But with hard work comes better performance. I can tell you that after a season of collegiate sports, you will be in the best shape of your life. The bad-ass feeling that comes after completing a terrible workout is also multiplied a billion times.

Your teammates will become your best friends

I had been told both sides of this story. I was always being told that the girls on the team would become my sisters, but I didn't totally buy into it. Others told me that I would never be on a team as close as my high school one. I am here to vouch that your teammates will be your best friends. Nobody understands better what you go through on a daily basis. Meals are spent together three times a day, practices twice a day, and nothing is better than walking into class the first day of a semester and seeing one of your teammates there. Study group!

You're an adult athlete now

This encompasses many different things. First of all, never ever be late. You are now in charge of your class. Make sure all the members of your class are always there. Wait for everyone in your dorm to be ready before you leave for morning practice. If you teammate is not there when you should be there, call them. Nobody wants a punishment practice at 6 A.M. You have to hold yourself accountable, reply to your coach's emails immediately when she asks a question. Always volunteer if you're a freshman, everyone's been a freshman at some point. We've all had to fill the water jug and carry the snack box.

Off season is AMAZING

Sleeping in, staying up late, and having FREE TIME. It is heaven on earth. Now we can use the NARP gym to workout, and dining hall bum for hours without dreading practice later. And, it is amazing knowing we have hours of free time to waste however we want. I've finished a season and a half of "Grey's" since off season started, so let's just say relaxation has hit its maximum while productivity has almost halted; thank God for breaks! You finally remember the feeling of being fully rested, having energy and happiness.

I just want to say thank you to the most amazing group of girls that has helped me survive my first collegiate swim season. It was real. It was fun. I could even say it was real fun. Now let the celebrations begin!

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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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