Cecillia Clausen

When time comes around to start applying to colleges many people might consider playing a sport in college. But, what is it really like to be a college athlete? Many people have mixed feelings on this very topic. The schedule can get very stressful fighting school and practice all in one day. It is hard on a person to have a busy schedule. It leaves no time to relax and it is very important for some relaxation time. Richard Sherman talks about how while he was in college his schedule was hectic and crazy: “I would wake up and and weight life, after that I would go to class, then after that grab a quick bite to eat, have meetings, then go to practice, and then at the end of the day do everything I need to do from the day”. Some people believe it is bad for students to take on athletics in college. They feel it will take away from the learning aspect of college. I believe being a college athlete is a great thing to do. Athletics help you become a better rounded person, help with time management skills, and help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When an athlete is in college athletics you are able to meet so many new and different type of people. You start to make new relationships with people and learn to respect others for who they are and not what they look like. The friends you make from your team can also help you with school. Your teammates can be study buddies for you so you can help each other pump out the paper and proof read it. Or to just be a great friend when a friend is needed. You make a new family the males and or females on your team. When you are away at college a lot of people miss their actual family, but your team can be your new family away from home. The relationships you make with your teammates are stronger than normal friends relationships. You aren’t just friends with them you have to learn to work with them as well making a stronger bond. Like one of my classmates Rebecka who came over from Sweden to play on the SNC hockey team. Before Rebecka even started school here her teammates from hockey reached out to her and made a point to become friends before they even met. “This summer the girls on the team added me on Facebook and wrote to me introducing themselves and told me a little about what I could expect when coming to the school,” Rebecka told us in class. So when Rebecka came to school and started practice she knew that she already had a family here too. Making her feel more at home when she is so far away from home. At St. Norbert you see how close the sports teams are to each other. When walking through the cafeteria you can see how the whole football team all sit together at the same table or are walking around campus together. The girls from the track team go work out together even though the season has not started yet, they have started making those tight bonds.

If a student is in a sport, they will have to learn time management. That is exactly what I had to do. The responsibility of making it to class and to practice on time is very important. When you first come to college you are not sure what to expect. Will college be like high school; can I do no homework and still be fine do I have to study all day long? As freshman you have no idea what to expect so you try to prepare for everything. Well when you are on a sports team you have to learn fast and get in a routine fast. You may wake up and have morning practice and then go to class and squeeze in some studying time at the end of the night. You may have late night practices. This chaotic schedule shows an athlete that time management skills are very important. When being an athlete you find out what is more important to you. You find out that you may need to put in a little extra studying time instead of hanging out with your friends. My friend Emmy is on the track team and track is a spring sport but not in college. Emmy has been doing off season practice since around the third week of school. Emmy complained in the beginning but now with her time management skills with track and school are starting to be stress free with her time management skills: “I had to learn quick what was important to me and what would work in my schedule. With two-hour track practice almost every night, and lifting it gets pretty hard not to stay on track with my schedule”. From Emmy’s experience she likes the sport and likes having the schedule so she can stay on task with what she needs to do.

When a student is on a sports team it can be very hard at times to focus on school work. A Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey has discovered the importance of exercise for the mind and helping you learn:”Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.” When in college the goal is to learn, well for most people. When you are exercising your body you are helping your mind as well. As John Ratey mentioned exercise is very important for the mind, helping students to do even better in school when a student is participating in a sport. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals, which help make new brain cells and help us to learn. Showing how being a student athlete is hard but yet it is very beneficial for your school work.  Exercise not only helps with the mind but also is very important for your body.  When you come to college people may talk about the “freshman 15”. Which is just what some people call it when you gain weight your freshman year. Not everyone gains this weight but to help prevent this from happening you can work out or join a college sport. When you are in a sport you stay active and keep a healthy mindset and body. Which are two very important things to have when at college.  Working out and staying active isn’t just good for your physical physique, but it also can help reduce stress. As Elissa Epel an associate professor of psychiatry at UCSF: ”Jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer for 30 minutes can blow off tension by increasing levels of “soothing” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine”. This will help keep the stress levels of college or from your coach. You may work out to maintain the same body shape you are or to gain more muscle in some areas. Being in a college sport will help you to maintain the body you want or to help strive for your dream body, but also to help keep your mind sharp and help you to live a stress free lifestyle.

College athletics are a great way for students to make many new friends and family for relationships. It is a create way to expand your horizon with friendships and learning to meet new people and all different type of people. Athletics help you to create great time management skills that will help you in the future at a new job or even living on your own. Time management, I feel, is very important for and college student to have. Everyone feels they live hectic lives so creating time management skills can help reduce the stress and create a great life lesson. Finally, college athletics help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle for not only your body but also your mind. Participating in a college athletic will help to keep the stress level down, keep your metabolism high, and your mind on point.


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