Being a collegiate student athlete is not easy, whether you’re a star player for a Div I team or a Div III walk-on. Collegiate student athletes sacrifice the typical college experience for the opportunity to continue playing the sport they love.
To some, that sacrifice may seem absurd. Who would want to trade in four years of partying and sleeping until noon for gym workouts and morning practices?
Now that I have a year of college swimming at Oswego State under my swim cap and I am preparing to begin my second season, I can say that the “sacrifice” I made was very much worth it.
I have been a competitive swimmer since I was seven years old. When it came time to start thinking about college, there was never a doubt in my mind that I wanted to continue my swimming career at the collegiate level. I wasn’t ready to give up the sport that had been such a huge part of my life for the past decade.
Being a collegiate student athlete has given me much more than just an opportunity to continue being a competitive swimmer.
It has given me the opportunity to be on a team with other people who share the same passion for the sport that I have loved for over half of my life. Being in that kind of environment makes me excited to go to practice everyday. I want to get better, not only for myself, but for my teammates as well, who have supported me since day one. My team is my family away from home.
I quickly learned the importance of time management from being a student athlete.
Trying to balance classes, extracurricular activities and school work is a challenge for many college students, but throwing daily practices and weekends on the road into the mix makes the challenge even more complicated.
I learned that procrastination is not an option if you want to get to bed before morning practice starts.
In my experience, being a collegiate student athlete is not a sacrifice. It is an opportunity that not everyone is fortunate enough to receive.
While it may be a lot of hard work, I would not change my decision to be an Oswego State athlete for all the sleep in the world.