Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

College has a reputation for being a time of exploration- trying new things and carving new paths for yourself. We may try new things, but only to a certain point. You can change your college major as many times as you like, but the longer you delay, the longer your studies will take. At the end of the day, most students only spend four years at a university, which is not as much time as it seems. Have you ever taken a look at your college career and became curious about what life would’ve been like had you followed another path? 

Well, I’ve decided to do the hard work for you. I interviewed a student athlete to really see what it is like to be an athlete in college. So, take a step back and imagine what a day in the life of an Old Dominion University student athlete would be like. 

College athletes are often portrayed in the media to make a career out of their sport. This portrayal does not happen as often as you think it does. Most college athletes take up sports in college because they love the game, not always because they want to make a career out of it. 

Evelyn Murray, a field hockey player, stated that she wanted to pursue a career that focused on working “remotely for a firm with an ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) component.” For Murray, her college field hockey experience is one that stems from the desire to continue a healthy hobby that she loves, but as far as career goals go, she doesn’t see herself staying on the field forever.

While in college, Murray juggles the balancing act of school, sports, work and social life. The typical day of Murray begins early. She typically wakes up around 7 or 8 a.m. to take classes for half of the day until noon. Her field hockey practice begins promptly after running from 1 – 4 p.m. and even during the off season, practice takes place five days a week with the biggest difference being competition days. Competitions occur twice a week in-season and once every two weeks out-of-season. Murray also works in the evenings from 5 – 8 p.m.at a gym that trains athletes in her sport. 

If you’re like me, then you’re wondering when there is time to do homework? Murray says she tends to do her homework later in the evening, after her long day. It takes a lot of careful planning and passion for your sport to maintain this grueling schedule.

 “There is a difference between loving being an athlete and loving playing your sport. You need to have both in order to succeed as a college athlete,” Murray said.

One without the other would prove stressful and overwhelming when it comes to being a student athlete. It’s not always easy to manage the heavy workload that comes with the territory of playing a sport while also taking class. Like everything in life, there are ups and downs.

“The worst part of being a student athlete was waking up early every day and lifting weights when conditioning,” shares Murray.

The authentic dislike for waking up early is a tale as old as time for college students. In order to weave intensive practices and training into athletes class schedules, often times practices fall in the early morning hours.

Even with the early wake-up calls, the highs of being a student athlete tend to outweigh the lows. Murray shared that the best part of the being a part of a college team is the relationship that you build with your teammates. Many times, student athletes end up living together as roommates in their off-time and spending time with one another off the field as well.

To me this seems like the best part of playing a sport. You have a seemingly “built in” family that you spend the majority of your time with and grow to love.

Next time you consider taking your life down a different path (like pursuing a sport) you should give it a chance. If you have a genuine love for what you want to do, do it! The image of what life could be like, will never live up to the real thing. Don’t think of this as an obstacle, but as a reason to follow your dream. Chasing that ambition could change your life for the better. Take the risk! 

Hey! My name is Taryn and I am the managing editor for the Her Campus chapter at ODU! I am a psychology major with a minor in music performance!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️