The struggles of being a student-athlete

How the average sports team member suffers in ways most students will never be able to understand

Everyone knows college is hard, right? School challenges you, and professors sometimes push you to your limits with tests and excessive amounts of homework. However, as with most things in life, not everyone goes through college at an even playing field, and there are those brave souls who will take on extra work, not to benefit themselves, but the student body as a whole.

The student-athlete population is, quite possibly, made up of the most brave and tenacious students on campus. Taking on the role of athlete, working long days and nights for the good of the university and never stopping The Grind (™) are just a few of the struggles these hard-working souls have to endure. As a student-athlete myself, I can confirm that much of what I go through on a day-to-day basis will never be understood by the average student. Everyone always wants to complain about how tired they are or how they need more coffee. Like, excuse me, but did you wake up at 6 a.m. this morning to workout?

The average day of the student-athlete is long and exhausting. Wake up early, practice for a few hours, go to class immediately after (the grind never stops) and then go to MORE practice in the afternoon. And then, because teachers will never understand how tired we are, after practice, we are still expected to complete the same homework and study for the same tests as our non-athlete peers! There are nights where the student-athlete has to stay up way past our recommended bedtime of 9:30 p.m. to finish homework to ensure that their GPA remains good enough to play, and they rarely, if ever, are thanked by anyone for all they do for the school. I mean, rude? Also calculate in the time we have to spend editing pictures of us playing for our Instagram and Facebook fans and all the time we have to spend keeping up with professional players, and it’s a surprise we sleep at all!

I have heard a lot of excuses by students who are not athletes for why they are tired too, or why school is wearing them out. Everything from “I’m a triple major in BCMB, Spanish and Engineering,” to “I have to work full-time and attend class,” or “I have a medical condition that makes me chronically tired.” All of these are fine and dandy excuses, and I’m sure to the average plain-old student, they sound like good reasons, but it is just hard to imagine that any of these people could come close to understanding the struggle athletes go through every semester to balance academic achievement and athletic accomplishments, never giving less than 110 percent.  

Anyway, I believe I have made my point fairly clear, but just as a final clarification, we student-athletes do not just suffer for our own achievement, but rather we suffer for you. When you tell your friends and family that you go to Trinity, inevitably the first thing they will think of is Trinity Athletics and how great they are, which will confirm how cool you are for attending this tiny, Division III school.  That is the true reason why while you are dreaming, we are out there chasing dreams. Next time you see a student-athlete, thank them for their service. And for my fellow athletes, don’t stop The Grind #D1BOUND.