Realities of Being a Student Athlete

green grass with white painted lines for field hockey

close up of Skyler in action, with field hockey stick poised in the air, ready to strike the ballI was a three sport athlete all throughout high school, so I knew sports was bound to follow me into my college career. I decided to limit myself to just one sport entering my freshman year because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with school work and practices. By choosing to stick solely to field hockey, I pretty much knew what I was in for having played since I was in fifth grade. I was expecting college field hockey to be almost identical to what I experienced throughout high school. I would go through preseason, go to class then practice in season, and then train in the off season. Much to my surprise, and benefit, college sports is unlike high school, and I could not be any more grateful for being a student-athlete in college.

Skyler jumps on the back of a teammate after a game, with a Rowan goal post beside them.
My teammates are my second family! (I’m the one on the left, jumping on my teammate’s back.)

College athletics is a little bit of a bigger commitment than high school. The competition you face and the level you play at is more intense, so the time and effort you put into your sport is at a higher level. As a student-athlete in college, you master time management skills. You learn how to juggle classes from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., a three-hour practice after, then a five-page paper due the next day at 11 a.m.

The commitment you put into your sport reflects the commitment you put into your classes as well. You will have the drive to work harder knowing you have to maintain a certain GPA to continue to play your sport. Besides the skills you acquire from simply playing a college sport, the relationships you make with your teammates is one that you can’t find anywhere else. Your teammates become your second family, your rock all throughout college and beyond. Playing a college sport was the best decision I have made.

field hockey team photo, with 27 smiling faces all wearing yellow Rowan athletic jerseysBy: Skyler Pino, Gloucester City, NJ (Camden County)
Sophomore public relations major