Why College Isn't Just About Your Sport
Student-Athletes, do yourself a favor and don’t just take easy classes...
Why Some Student-Athletes Need to Hear This
From my personal experience, I’ve witnessed and heard many stories of the difficulties athletes faced transitioning to life after sports.
Once my life as a student-athlete ended, it was somewhat stressful. On top of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, it was a big change no longer having to attend practices and meetings.
I didn’t know what to do with my free time because part of my identity was lost in my sport.
The transition from being a student- athlete to becoming a professional athlete and a working professional was an adjustment. There were unspoken struggles I faced that many outsiders don’t know.
Fans got to see me, the athlete, performing in my sport, but I knew I was more than that off the field. I was a ‘student-athlete’, who chose to not only excel in my sport but all areas of my life. All because of a choice, I wake up everyday excited to do something I absolutely enjoy.
Academic Decisions that Need to Happen
As athletes, we have a choice every day to wake up and grind through the grueling practices, we have the choice to decide what our future will be like after sports. We should enjoy the camaraderie of being a student-athlete, but my biggest piece of advice is… don’t leave college with a degree that doesn’t have a future. Your degree is your future.
With that being said, below are some helpful tips when deciding on majors.
Research & observe various majors: In the Academic Center, I picked up many documents about different careers available to find something that interested me. Once I found a career of interest, I found opportunities to observe and get a feel of the job.
Make a plan: I not only had a four-year but also a semester plan. I made a list of classes/ hours I needed every semester. Having an outline of when I would complete courses was helpful.
Meet with athletic & academic advisors: For difficult classes (like Physics), I inquired with my athletic advisors about tutors and they had no issue providing me one. Taking the initiative to seek help early helped me do well in that class. Realize, there are also tutoring services on campus that are provided to all students. Seek them out!
Don’t skip class & be PRESENT during lectures: After exerting so much energy in practice, I didn’t always have the mental energy to sit in a classroom for 50 minutes. I had to force myself at times! Just remember, colleges are getting their money regardless whether your eyes are open or closed. Why waste your time majoring in something that will be meaningless for your future?
Take the challenging courses during the right time: While it is important to keep a minimum GPA to maintain NCAA eligibility, I challenge you to avoid taking only easy classes. I knew I would not be able to manage taking Physics during the season, so I stayed over the summer to take the class.
Make sacrifices: There were so many late nights I spent studying instead of going out. As a student-athlete, making the choice to stay disciplined through those years has allowed me to do something I enjoy today!
While the grind of training on top of coursework can be so real, ask yourself, “Would I rather grind for 4 years and do something I enjoy or work a mundane job I have no interest in for the rest of my life?” The choice is yours!