The Reality of Being an Athlete in College

Every high school athlete’s dream is to play that sport in college. And well, some of them go on and do that and some of them don’t. But once you get to that stage in your life nobody really talks about how different it is. I did Cross Country and Track in college for my first two years, but then decided I had to let go of the sport I loved. So, what’s the reality of being a college athlete?

Being an athlete is hard and a college athlete is even harder. You are all excited in high school, wanting to commit to a school so you could post it everywhere and have your own signing day to make a big deal about it all. But then once you actually go to college, your whole life changes. Nobody knows who you were in high school, and nobody really cares. They only care about who you are now. And for athletics, how you are performing on their team.

The adjustment is not easy. Everything gets harder in college, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Maybe this new team is one you really connect with or maybe it’s the opposite. You have to make sure that you love the sport, not your parents or friends, you. Going to college means you are really starting to become that independent person. You have to do your own laundry, maybe even cook for yourself and handle your finances. You don’t just get to come home from practice to dinner being ready and a shower and room to yourself. A lot is different, and you have to do a lot on your own, which can take a toll on your body. And let’s not forget classes; you have to do a lot of studying and work outside of class. So, you need to be self-motivated for classes and practices.

That’s a lot. So much credit should be given to college athletes no matter the level, because balancing everything takes a lot and I mean a lot of effort. But please make sure you take care of yourself. Mental Health is huge in athletes. Nobody wants to talk about it, but it needs to be talked about. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students. And it is only growing in college athletes. You need a support system. Again, you need a support system. Whether that be your brother, sister, parents, friends from home. You need people you can talk to outside of your team.

My biggest piece of advice is to take care of yourself. If your end goal is not to become a pro athlete then you need to make sure you prioritize school, because after college you’re done. And life really hits you. So please take care of yourself. Make sure you call your family and friends. Make friends outside of your sport. Focus on school. Take some time to relax and recover. We all need downtime. So, for the last time from a former athlete, please take care of yourself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *