By: Lauren Schilling
College. A seven letter word that both inspires and terrifies the living daylights out of 18 year olds across the nation. It’s associated with cram sessions, coffee addictions, and a healthy diet of ramen noodles. But it’s also associated with excitement, character building, and education in the practices of real life. This rings especially true for student athletes who experience both sets of descriptors as they precariously carry a solid academic workload with the thrill of competitive sports.
I have so far lived through both of ends of the spectrum that is college. There are days where I feel overwhelmed by the work that has accumulated and fear that I won’t ever get a full 8 hours of sleep. I also worry that being absent, at most 3 times a week, to participate in volleyball is just too much of an obstacle for me to overcome and be a successful student. But then I remember the rush of adrenaline I got from our team’s win over Wittenberg and the enthusiastic screams of our fans at home games. I remember the laughs I’ve had in practice with my teammates and the pride I feel for each of their accomplishments on and off the court. I remember that being a part of a unit is worth the discomfort of a busy schedule because it means I’m fully living my life rather than experiencing a monotonous college career.
So all I suggest is find your team. Whether it be a group of classmates or an intramural sport, find a collection of people that will force you to realize that college isn’t all about school and it isn’t all about the fun. As cheesy as it sounds, a great bunch of friends will help you achieve the perfect balance in your life even if at times you feel like you are going off the deep end. They will help you play through the pain that is college and life, and help you play in a way that you are bound to win at all that you do.