While life as a student-athlete is busy, I can’t imagine my college experience without soccer. Many students don’t consider college athletics for fear it will be “too much” or just not worth it. But my experience has been just the opposite. I’d like to give you four reasons why you should consider becoming a collegiate athlete (specifically at Cairn University):
1. Take control of your schedule.
The existence of games and practices forces you to balance your schedule (unless you like feeling wildly overwhelmed). As someone managing a soccer season and mountain of homework, I quickly realized that I needed to figure out how to manage my time well. Yes, sports are time consuming, but it’s well-worth the investment considering the improvement of my time management. The structure of athletics made it easier for me to block out time to do homework and schedule time for socializing, too.
2. Relieve your stress.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, exercise reduces stress and produces endorphins, improving your mood. Athletes profit from exercising together, and it’s been proven that working out improves mental health. After hours of classes and homework, it’s a huge relief to do physical activity by playing a favorite sport, which often produces more energy to do homework later.
3. Stay in shape.
College athletes do not only experience reduced stress from working out; they also stay physically healthy. This may be obvious, but it’s easier to stay motivated to work out by doing it with other people on your team. Personally, I don’t enjoy exercising in the gym on my own. With my soccer teammates on- and off-season, working out together both motivates me and makes me feel far more comfortable in the gym.
4. Find great community.
I personally believe that community is the best part of being a college athlete. I came to Cairn early for soccer pre-season. In those couple weeks before classes started, I grew close to my teammates, making the transition into my new environment much easier. I had people to sit with during lunchtime and connected with other students on campus more quickly. Growing close to the people I spent the most time with was an extremely positive experience. We practiced, won, practiced, lost, practiced, and bonded (and practiced) together, bringing everyone closer despite our different backgrounds.
If you’re considering joining an athletic team, do it. Joining a team will help you figure out how to balance your schedule, lessen your stress, maintain physical fitness, and experience great friendships. Community is worth the time commitment!