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

While being a student-athlete can be very time-consuming and demanding on your body, it has so many rewards. Every weekend may be filled with competitions and championship meets, but you get to travel all around the country with your built-in family. 

not just teammates- family

Coming into college can be intimidating, to say the least. However, being on a team not only gives you friends but gives you a whole new family.  When I first came to college, I grew very homesick and missed all my friends from home. However, my new team made it so easy to adjust and meet new people. Instantly I became so close to all of my teammates. I know I can trust them with anything, and that they will always have my back. I can come to them for support or questions in our out-of-practice. One major advantage to being on a college team is the people you train with. Being with the team every day brings us closer together. Some of the girls have become my best friends that I know would do anything for me. 

support system

Not only do the people on the team become your family- but they are a great support system. Upperclassmen/coaches give you advice on what classes, and teachers to take, and also provide resources to get academic help. For example, our coaches highly prioritize our grades and mental health on my gymnastics team. When finals come around, there is always the option to leave practice early to study or get extra homework done. On a big team, there is always someone you can talk to about school or your mental health.

time management

Being on a team creates an incredibly busy schedule, during the season. Even during pre-season, athletes have to practice daily on top of classes. You learn time-management skills that carry on into the rest of your life. Some days are harder than others, where practices are longer, or you have extra homework during the week. Learning how to prioritize assignments, practice, and overall well-being can help your time management. Not only this, but time management is crucial during practice too. For example, you may need to work on one skill more than another, so it is important to spend the most time on fixing it. Being able to manage your time can create bigger and better results, whether that is during practice or in everyday life. 


While being an athlete may seem fun, sometimes you don’t see the whole picture. Many athletes have a lot of hidden injuries they don’t post about. However, this leads to a lot of perseverance. Despite being in pain, many athletes push until they can’t anymore- especially if it’s during their competition or game season. They want a winning title so bad that they put the pain aside and keep on training. Aside from pain, every day, athletes are working towards their goals. Whether they have a good or bad day, we push through to make progress. Perseverance is also an important skill in life. For example, if you aren’t sufficient to complete a task in a future job, it is important to continue to finish it. 

Being a student-athlete is rewarding in so many ways some might not even realize. Even though there may be bad practices or games, I would never trade being an athlete for anything. I have created some lifelong friends through the gymnastics team at WCU that I will forever cherish.

Macarthy Keane

West Chester '26

Gymnast at West Chester University Writer for Her Campus at WCU