Being a student athlete within college is like being a part of another world. You sacrifice more than you can even realize within your four years at the University. Countless weekend nights of staying in because you have workouts or practice at 7 AM. Never visiting another friends college because who cannot spare a whole weekend? Or better yet, who gets off of practice for a whole weekend? There is a reason why student athletes only hangout with other student athletes and that is simply because they do not really know anyone else. If you do go out, you go with your team or maybe someone on the soccer or basketball team because by God’s good grace you all do not all have to be in the gym on Saturday morning at the crack of dawn. On Saturdays, the softball team has to be in the gym and working out by 7 AM, then after a two-hour workout, we have to start a two-hour practice. Forget going out after because you are simply too tired and sore. Let’s not forget the pile of homework that is sitting in your room waiting for you once you get back, because you spend all of your free time on the field or in the gym.
All of this hard work that we put in all year long only to have our season fly by. Just this week I feel like we have just started to practice outside again and we have already had four conference games, played ten games in Florida and now play two double headers on Friday and Saturday. There are only six weeks left of my season and all that time I spent all year preparing for. And you know what; I do not regret a single moment. All those hours in the gym, all those weekends I have sacrificed I would not trade in because this is the life I really want. My biggest worries are passing my classes and winning games. With only two seasons left in my athletic college career, I realize that I am actually going to miss those two-hour workouts on Saturday morning. I am going to miss waking up at 6 to go play another team. Even though life for a student athlete is the craziest during those four years, it is also the best four years of your life. Did I miss a lot of parties? Yes, but I am getting the experience of a lifetime. The ability to compete at this level, a chance I will never get again in my life. I am not going to lie; it is really hard at times to juggle college, family, friends, and your sport all at the same time. But if it were easy we would not be athletes, we would not be the individuals we are today on or off the field if we were not capable of doing it. Yes, we get way more than we can sometimes handle, but most important is that we did survivor that crazy semester and we had an amazing season. We left everything out on the field because we realize that after college we will not be able to have this chance again. So live up those weekends where you play six games in three days, where you have practice, games, and exams more then you have hours to sleep. Embrace the fact that you have an opportunity to play the sport you love why gaining an education. And most importantly cherish those four years on the field, because they might just be the last time you step out there.