Things They Don't Tell You As A Student Athlete

Things They Don't Tell You As A Student Athlete

The things they don't tell you when you're an incoming college athlete.
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When I say the words college athlete, what comes to your mind first? Football players, with dreams of playing in the NFL; Basketball players, almost 7 feet of glory looming over you; Baseball players, and their hopes of making it to Omaha and the College World Series? That may be what comes to mind when you think of college athletes, but what happens to everyone and everything that happens behind the scenes.

I am a student-athlete, and while I may not play basketball, or volleyball, or any of the "cool" guys sports, I am an athlete through and through. Although being a student-athlete has its perks, here are a few things they don't tell you.

As a college freshman, it's understandable that you'll be nervous. You've moved away from home, you now share a space the size of a shoebox with another human being, and you have to learn how to navigate college living- classes, studying, going out with friends, and NAPS. Now add being a collegiate athlete on top of all of this. For most, this means scheduling classes around practice, early morning workouts, fulfilling all of your required duties, and study hall.

When you come to visit, they tell you all of these things and make it sound so easy.

I've been in here almost a semester now, and I can tell you that it is nowhere near as easy as they make it seem. Everyone tells you that college is hard, and you used to roll your eyes and say yeah, yeah I know. LISTEN to them! Universities are way harder than the hardest classes you took in high school, or even at a junior college.

At orientation, no one mentions that when they tell you that you may need a tutor for a class, it's not a suggestion. Get a tutor as soon as you can and stay on top of it. They also don't tell you that learning how to study in constant noise, or a group setting is crucial. Especially for athletes in study hall. (Pro tip- invest in noise-canceling headphones) No one mentions that making study friends with other athletes can be a blessing and a curse. You both have to log hours in study hall so you'll see each other which is great. It's just not so great when you both miss class for athletics and were counting on the other to get the notes.

Aside from academics, no one tells you that you should treat the personal trainer like royalty. Visit them every time you have the smallest inkling that there could be something wrong. It could save your ability to compete this season. Also, learn to ask the upperclassmen for advice, whether it be about coaches, or practice, or workouts, or even something completely unrelated.

College can be a huge learning curve, and athletics can add just that much more chaos to your already crazy life. Learn to ask for help, know that it's okay to have a breakdown now and then, and just enjoy the ride. You only get to live it for a short while.


Cover Image Credit: TCU Equestrian

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Club Swimming Taught Me That When Life Is Difficult You Need To 'Just Keep Swimming'

No matter my hardships, I've come out stronger because of them.

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I may not be the best swimmer out there, but I am the best swimmer that I can be. I'm a great swimmer.

Many terrible memories through swimming, but there are so many great ones that make up for them all.

My goal in swimming is to be able to lift my teammates up and push them past their limits. I am more than just any hard worker who puts in more than 110% of my effort into every practice. I am more than just another swimmer whose goal was to once be an Olympic athlete. I am more than just a competitor who aspires to win every race. I am a swimmer who is not afraid to lose a race if it means that I had tried my absolute best in and out of the pool. I am a swimmer that cheers the LOUDEST for her teammates as well as other swimmers without being asked. I am a swimmer who is a TEAM player and wishes nothing more than to perform at my very best so I can inspire and push OTHERS to do even better. I am the swimmer you wish you had on your team.

I struggled through swimming quite a bit from 2014 up until mid-2017 both physically and mentally. I stopped club swimming after spring break of 2016 but rejoined after the summer season. I was not as consistent and I questioned myself to whether or not I still loved the sport because I felt burnt out. Therefore, my results plummeted, but during this summer I started going for my best times again.

I know because I took time off, many people have passed me up and their progress and results are better than mine. I did take that time to realize that science and math were NOT my strong suit in school and that I should not have piled up on so many math/science courses all at once. I found my passion within liberal arts. I may be a bit behind compared to the girls my age on my club team and it is difficult to compare my times with theirs now, but I have a lot of self-motivation and I will not back down just because they are better than me right now.

I really picked myself back up over the recent summer and I have done better than I have ever before. If I were given the opportunity to restart the summer and the past few years and either do anything I wanted to or to relive everything again, I would without a doubt choose to relive everything again. Why? Because without that experience, I would not have been able to realize what I can and cannot handle with school work (like piling up a bunch of difficult classes in two years) and realize what field I want to be a part of in the future. And swimming-wise, I would not have found as much confidence in myself. I would have been swimming without a purpose.

I realized that the little girl who loved swimming so much is still inside me, but I've become a better student and athlete today. You will be impressed by how consistently I can hold my times in practice and how well I will be able to manage my schoolwork. I will be able to amaze you day in and out not only with my performance but with my attitude as well. You will not see anyone else who has a brighter smile, with so much spirit, and so much determination all at once. Because of my setback, I am more ready than ever to shine brighter than ever.

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