A student-athlete’s life isn’t ideal, but it’s worth it

I’m going to preface this with the fact that I’m not stating that I am better than those who don’t associate with me but rather I’m going to give some insight into my life.

Being a student-athlete isn’t easy. I’m sure you’ve heard someone complain about this exact statement at least once a week, once a day or even at every visit to the café. I’ve complained. But I shouldn’t because no matter how difficult it is being a student-athlete, it’s what I want.

But it’s not easy. It’s extremely demanding.

Waking up earlier before an 8 a.m. to get in a workout isn’t “fun.” Staying up late working on an assignment isn’t a great idea. Because unlike the typical student who may have the ability to nap from the end of their class at 11 a.m. until dinner time, student-athletes are either watching film or getting a quick lift in or doing homework in our spare time.

This isn’t fun, constantly going from task to task to task.

But what is fun is being able to compete on the weekends.

While it does suck at times, missing out on fun and social times, I think at the end of the day it’s worth it to me. No, my nights don’t usually consist of “just chilling,” or having “nothing to do” or playing video games all night.

But I’m okay with that.

Sometimes my academics and athletics conflict with one another, it’s bound to happen every now and then. And while I take my academics seriously, sometimes the academics suffer – although not as much as the athletics do.

But the awesome thing about athletics is that it can teach so many life lessons and skills that are easily transferable. No, I’ll never have to pole vault at work once I graduate, but if I can stay disciplined enough during my jumps then that skill will carry over into my career.

I won’t ever have to remember how to get open against a defender to catch a pass, but if I perfect my technique as a wide receiver then I’ll perfect what I create in the work field.

I love being a student-athlete. I love competing.

I won’t ever have to out-hustle the rival team down the last 100 meters of the track but if I’m a hard worker I know I’ll always be able to beat out my competitors because of this work ethic.

I might not ever have to work out ever again, but after doing it as an athlete, I’ve learned to understand how much healthier it could make me later in life. So maybe I’ll do it because I know it’s good for me.

I’m blessed to have the opportunity to participate in the sports I love.

And that’s the key as a Division III athlete, you have to love what you’re doing. And while this might not be ideal to some people, it couldn’t get any better for me.