There’s just something special about being a runner (or any athlete) during your college career. It provides you with so many advantages that the typical student doesn’t always have. For instance, as an xc runner, my team and I return to school one week earlier than most non- athletes. Not only does this give us the chance to move into our rooms first, but it also gives you the opportunity as a freshmen to make friends before school even begins. Spending a week of running together, doing team activities (yoga, a trip to the beach, etc. ), and eating meals together is longer than it seems, trust me. By the end of preseason my freshmen year, I already felt pretty comfortable with the team and not long after I could proudly say they were like family to me. So, no matter what sport you might be doing, you’ll be spending a good majority of your time with them. In other words, it’s nearly impossible for your team not to feel like family.
But apart from the team aspect, there’s also that drive you possess as in individual that sets you apart from non-athletes. What I mean is that motivation to drag yourself out of bed early in the morning so that you can make it to 6:00am practice (for xc runners at least). Or that self control to make sure you are in bed at a reasonable time. Let’s not forget the respect you have for your team and yourself that guides you to always make good choices that are in the best interest of your team and coaches. Most of all though, your ability to manage time well so that you can responsibly balance the athlete life and student life (not to mention any clubs or other groups you might be involved in as well.) All in all, I can really say that being an athlete in college has really shaped who I am today and who I will become.