Matthew Scott, Staff Writer
College Athletics is a subject that everyone always wants to talk about. Who won the game, what was the score and where are we ranked in the polls, fans ask. However, fans hardly ask about an athlete’s academic or social life. The biggest jump a student can make, besides going professional, is the jump from high school to college. How are freshmen handling the difference between high school athletics and collegiate athletics?
I would be the first to admit I have never played college sports, but I know for a fact there is a huge difference between high school and college sports. Will House, a freshman that plays on the Offensive Line, said, “The biggest difference between high school and college ball is the level of competition. College is the next level of competition, and not many people are selected out of high school to go to the next level.”
That is what student athletes desire: a challenge and to earn what they get. “At this level everyone knows how to play the sport really well,” said Kelsi Holcomb, a freshman soccer player. College competition places students against the best, and student athletes are up to the challenge. That does not answer the question of how students balance sports and school work.
“I think that school is harder because with traveling and being gone, it is hard to stay on top of every class and everything that we miss,“ said Holcomb. Every athlete arrives at college with differing opinions of what will be harder: academics or sports. “Personally, I think my sport is the harder thing to deal with. You can have a tough exam coming up, but if you study hard enough, you can do great on it,” said House.
That means achieving the right balance can be difficult, and student athletes have to sacrifice things they love to do. “I sacrifice sleep, I sacrifice social life and I sacrifice ‘me’ time,” said House.
“I knew it would be hard, but nothing prepared me for the mentally and physically exhausted days,” said Holcomb.
It is difficult for student athletes to balance both academic and sports, but it is very rewarding. “It is very time consuming and always a struggle to get out of bed, but I love playing the sport, and I wouldn’t change that,” said Holcomb.