Wake up. Go to class. Grab a quick lunch as you run to practice. Leave it all out on the field for a good two or three hours. Drag yourself to the lib. Go to sleep. Repeat.
I know. You’ve heard it a million times. You’ve read a thousand articles on The Odyssey, you’ve come across meme after meme on Facebook, and you’ve seen all of the jokes that flood Twitter. But, I’ll say it anyways.
Being a student-athlete is really tough. But being a student-athlete at Trinity? That’s a whole new ballpark of tough “” no pun intended. Student athletes sacrifice so much day in and day out, and in the grand scheme of things, these sacrifices are often overlooked.
Now, this isn’t to say that students involved in other clubs on campus don’t work hard. I’m totally one to give credit where it’s due, and most students on campus are involved in some sort of extracurricular activity. Whether it be Greek life, on-campus jobs or other student organizations, Trinity students spend a lot of time on activities outside of class, which does deserve recognition. However, few “” if any “” organizations on campus require the mental and physical toughness that athletics demand.
First and foremost, in order to be a student-athlete at Trinity, you have to have solid time management skills. If you don’t, chances are you’ll fall behind very fast. Trying to balance practice schedules with office hours, project deadlines, group project meetings, adequate rest and some sort of social life is close to impossible. We are often forced to choose between sleep and those extra 10 minutes of study time, eating lunch or getting to practice early to stretch, and going to hang out with friends or catching up on sleep.
This doesn’t even include our weekend schedules. For softball, we have four games each weekend. Each game lasts about two hours. So, including warm up time, the team spends seven to eight hours on the field both days of the weekend, leaving a slim amount of time to do homework, eat meals and socialize with friends. This also doesn’t include weights and conditioning and extra personal work we do on the side. Needless to say, we’re pretty busy.
Student-athletes also face unique pressures from various parties. Expectations are high from coaches, teammates, parents, professors and ourselves. Coaches and teammates expect us to be performing at our best at all times. Whether it’s at practice or during a game, we’re expected to leave it all out of the field or court or course. Parents will be parents, and like coaches, always want and expect us to perform at our best. Professors expect our best performance in the classroom, and unfortunately, sometimes fail to recognize all of the other academic and athletic demands that we face. Finally, the amount of pressure we put on ourselves is unreal. We’re constantly analyzing our performance on the field and in the classroom, just adding to the pressure we feel from everyone else.
With all of that being said, I wouldn’t trade my chaotic schedule for anything. Having the opportunity to receive such a top-tier education and play a sport that I love is something that I will never take for granted. Trinity has allowed me to broaden my mind, meet some of my best friends and represent my school in ways that I could have never imagined.