On October 18th my whole life changed – aside from turning 20 years old the day before. I already had a lot going on in my collegiate life. I was in the Honors College, a candidate for Beta Alpha Psi, applying for internships, and working as Pearson Campus Ambassador. I was also vice president of the club tennis team and an intramural basketball champion. With all that, I also carved out time to hang out with friends.
Then I spontaneously decided to try out for my school’s Women’s D1 Basketball team, and I made the team! Little did I know what kind of challenge that was going to be, not only competing at this high level after taking a year off of basketball, but also how to balance this new endeavor with everything else going on in my life.
First thoughts were all excitement about making the team, until I became super overwhelmed. Basketball alone was stressful enough with trying to play catch-up while everyone else had already been practicing together for months. It took me a while to even think about how it was affecting the rest of my life, especially my classes. It is way too easy to forget about everything besides the D1 sport you play.
With this new addition to my life, sacrifices had to be made. No more intramurals, no more club tennis, less time with friends, and a change on schedule for internships. But, looking from a larger perspective, I’ve still made many memories and friends that I can keep forever who are very supportive. I’ve had to substitute virtual learning for a few in-person classes that conflicted with practices, but thankfully with technology I can watch lectures online for the most part. Classes have definitely been the hardest part to keep up with but, I was able to make friends in classes and the Honors College who help keep me accountable during this very busy time. The most important thing is to create and maintain a consistent schedule and to truly focus on the “student” part of the athlete, too.
It is easy to get carried away with trying to do more than you can handle. My parents always warned me about doing too much because it can take a toll physically and mentally. You always have to be aware of what you are feeling and realize that you can’t please everyone in everything. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and do something to relax and give yourself a break. Odds are you are way ahead of the game already and can definitely afford a few hours to yourself or with your friends.
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