Sometimes college becomes completely mundane. Schoolwork, practice, games, and parties – it all seems to become routine. Two weeks ago I was in class in a frustrating tizzy all worked up about homework I couldn’t find.
I dropped a bunch of papers, muttered something colorful under my breath about “not having time and being unorganized,” the kid next to me notices my new ¼ zip and mentions, “you play field hockey here?” “Yeah,” I said matter-of-factly. Then he asks me “why?”
I stopped for a minute and it dawned on me that this was the first time someone had really asked me why I put up with the crazy student athlete schedule.
“The team,” automatically flew out of my mouth.
Yes, I do play because I love athletics and that competitive feeling when the first whistle starts the clock, but in college there was always another reason that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
A lot of people who don’t play a sport don’t necessarily realize what comes along with it. Everyday for two hours you practice, sometimes at 6 a.m. sometimes late at night, and sometimes in the middle of buffalo chicken wrap Tuesday.
Then you have games, the worst are the away, three hours to Marywood in the rain and three hours back wet, and with a goalie who has the stench of a dying dog.
On top of that you have the schoolwork and internships that every other full time student does. You may miss class occasionally, but then you have to make sure you get caught up.
The studying and work you still have to complete; you’re held to the same standards as every other student.
Honestly, it isn’t really easy to answer the question of why you do what you do. Sure, you love the sport but it wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t get along with the people you play with.
Being a student athlete was honestly one of the best decisions I have made in my time at Cabrini.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to tell you the positions, corners or scores (except against the always hated Gwynedd-Mercy) but 10 years from now I can promise you I’ll remember the people.
Having sleepovers with the coach’s daughter, seeing “Footloose” on a Friday while everyone else is out drinking, and helping a worried freshman through preseason.
Being a student-athlete taught me to lead a group, that listening to everyone’s voice is important and to fight scrappy, because there is something bigger than you to be working for.
If you are thinking, “oh this girl is a senior starter” or “she gets a ton of time.”
The players that are in front of me are immovable rocks that dribble, shoot and score like machines. The time that I get I appreciate and I know it’s because I had to fight for it.
If you told me my freshman year before tryouts how much time I would get, I would make the same decision every time.
So here are my thanks to the athletic department (and I can speak for all the senior student athletes too) for the life-changing experiences that you have let me be a part of.