Athletes Should Get A College Degree

Athletes Should Get A College Degree

I'm playing sports the rest of my life so I don't need a degree, right? Wrong.
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We’ve all seen athletes get their partial or full ride scholarships to the college of their dreams.

People who don’t play sports in college might stereotype them as having an “easy experience” through their four or five years of school, but how much do they really know?

The problem with competing at this level is that for the majority of athletes, it’ll be their last level. Only a few move on to become professionals and some high school athletes don’t even reach the collegiate level because they decided to go professional instead.

What’s next after college?

Collegiate athletes most likely have been playing their sport since they were very young. It’s something near and dear to their heart (mine included!), and it’s hard to think that it won’t be a part of their daily life anymore.

It’s imperative for them to do well in school in order to build their resume and apply for jobs. I struggle with this because I haven't the slightest idea if I’ll ever become a professional runner. The odds are high, but it’s in the back of my (and every other athlete’s) mind — the famous “what if” question.

And even if they reach the professional level, ultimately, it's an unstable career. The possibility of injuries and bad performances can take its toll on finances. Some athletes who don't go to college and make tons of money instead end up spending it, which can lead to bankruptcy if they don't know how to handle it. Having back up plans can help quiet those “what if” questions!

For the average athlete, there's no way that their life experiences can help them handle their money. One way to change this is to take the time to go to college. Learning about the world and the way it works in and out of the classroom is a great way to figure out the way you want to live.

Athletes who truly invest in their educational opportunities sometimes find out that the dreams they had aren't based in reality. Unfortunately, too many of them skip learning and think of themselves as rock stars instead. They try to imitate a lifestyle that has left so many people washed up.

Figuring out your interests and hobbies is always a good start. Whether you’re interested in computers, photography, writing, reading, food, animals, etc. — there’s SOMETHING you can get out of it! Find a major at your school and start experimenting.

Find internships that make you think, “I’d love to do that!”. Once you put yourself out there, everything else will fall into place. There are so many paths to success in America. I hope that our young athletes can start to discover who they are, and fully taking advantage of college is a great start.

Cover Image Credit: Candace Jones

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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