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The Struggles of Being a Student Athlete…

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

College sports are nothing like high school sports which I found out during the first week of college. I was on the rowing team in high school and thought we did a lot of work. Compared to what college training is like, we did absolutely nothing. 

A simple day in my life is wake up at five in the morning for practice, eat breakfast directly after, and then go to classes all day. Once I’m done with classes, I go to the gym to do my extra workout for the day that is required for the rowing team. I eat dinner directly after the second workout of my day. At the end of the day, I like to catch up on the homework I couldn’t finish during the day.

Trying to manage to have friends outside rowing is difficult. I spend every waking moment with the team which makes having other friends hard to keep up with. When people ask to hang out, I feel like I’m either working out or trying to finish up some sort of essay I have to write. Even though it’s hard to do, having friends outside your sport is really important. I always try to make time for those friends.

Rowing isn’t an easy sport. We are burning so many calories each day that it is physically exhausting on your body. My body always hurts and my muscles are always tired. Trying to manage both school and rowing is extremely difficult. Naps are my best friend. I try to take naps as much as I can because otherwise, my body will hate me by the end of the day. 

The problem with being physically exhausted all the time is you have no energy to pick up your laptop and work on your essay or study for that big exam. This is what I am struggling with right now. I’m trying to figure out how to balance school work and practice while being so tired. I’ve recently realized, this is my choice. I chose to be a student-athlete at this school. Powering through homework is the way to go. I crave coffee every single day. I need it to give me that little kickstart into writing that big paper. The thing that helps me power through my homework, is that this is all worth it. 

Not only is my body physically exhausted, but my mind is too. Rowing is a sport that challenges your physical strength just as much as your mental strength. Every single person on this planet has a bad day every once in awhile. It’s hard to be happy at practice when you’re having a bad day. This is where we, the athletes, need to dig deep into our mental toughness. We need to prove that we can get through this workout even though we have hundreds of other things running through our minds. Having a bad day absolutely stinks, but when we show up to practice, we have to find our positivity and show our teammates that we want to be here. We want our teammates to want us here. I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy. But, it’s worth it. 

After a bad practice, I personally spend the whole entire day thinking about it. The problem with this is it then affects my academics. I can’t concentrate in classes or concentrate on studying. I’m not gonna lie, It’s hard. That’s what it’s all about, though. Every single athlete on this campus is here for one reason and that is to get a good education. The struggle is worth it and we all keep going every single day because we want to succeed in the things we love. 

In the end, rowing is worth all of it. 

This is the general account for the University of New Hampshire chapter of Her Campus! HCXO!