The big transition

By Carli Pio
October 23, 2003

Julie Smith

A day in the life of an athlete: wake up, go to class, go to practice or possibly a game, eat dinner with the team, do homework, and then finally go to sleep, only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

So why would someone want to have that kind of grueling and repetitive schedule each day? “Well, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” freshman soccer player Christine Watson said.

Watson has been playing soccer since she was four years of age and said that the transition from playing in high school to playing in college has made her grow to love soccer even more.

The term that has been quite possibly been worn-out when describing the transformation from high school senior to college freshman is “The big transition.” Going from the all-star starter, to having to prove yourself to get in a game, if only for a few minutes at a time, is not unheard of during this transition. Learning to balance the lack of any parental figure and your time, of course become a factor in your first few months of your new lifestyle, but Watson insists, “I feel like I can personally motivate myself more with my hectic schedule. I have a set agenda.”

Another factor in the new found freedom: the “freshman fifteen.” “Our workouts are rarely light and this has helped me to keep off the freshman fifteen. I have recently found out that many of my high school friends, who are not playing sports in college, have gained a considerable amount of weight since we left for school. This is something that drives me to keep working at any practice,” Watson said.

Sure, Watson agreed that there are things about her lifestyle as an athlete that she dislikes. “I can’t really go out as much as other people do, and I can’t really spend as much time as I would like just chilling around the dorm. It is extremely stressful scheduling classes, friends, and personal time around my hectic schedule. I feel like I am always running somewhere and I have no personal time.”

While speaking about her teammates, Watson said, “I feel like they are all my sisters, and are concerned with my well being on and off the field. These girls make each and every practice and game unforgettable in the most positive way. I feel that all the other players on the team have helped my transition in one way or another. I have grown as an athlete and feel that gaining maturity on the field has allowed me to gain maturity throughout my life.”

The life of an athlete: busy. The life of a freshman athlete: transitionally, busy. And what do you think Watson said she likes to do on her time off? If you said party, you’re wrong. “My favorite day of the week is Sunday. It’s a day when I can finally relax a little.”

Posted On The Web By: Rob Cain

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Carli Pio

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