A Day in the Life of a Student Athlete
March 2, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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To be a student-athlete at Dickinson College requires a commitment to athletics and academics that is very unique; an equal distribution of time and energy devoted to challenging, improving, and strengthening the mind.
As a member of the Women’s Track Team, I am constantly reminded that I am first and foremost a student at Dickinson College. However, I believe my success as a student is largely attributed to the discipline, mental toughness, and unity that being on a team affords me.
Junior track athlete Hannah Gore describes the importance of academics and athletics in her life, “I am able to combine both a rigorous athletic schedule and a rigorous academic schedule and both my professors and my coaches are understanding of my commitments…it makes me a well-rounded student and forces me to be more organized in my personal and academic life.” Similar to Hannah, sophomore Olivia Lowden feels that track offers a relief from the pressure of intense academic life, “Even if I am having a stressful day, I go to practice and afterwards I am ready to start my homework because I had a fun and constructive break.”
As track athletes, we usually run anywhere between six and ten miles a day. Though running can be just as mentally strenuous as a seven-page paper, it is immediately rejuvenating and rewarding to finish a run or hit tough splits in a workout. Running is an exercise in forcing the body into a place of discomfort and trusting that this will later be rewarded. The same experience applies to students who enter unknown territory in their intellectual lives. In my experience as an English major, I am often sifting through literary criticism that is difficult to unpack and distill. However, I am increasingly able to enter this unknown territory as I hone my critical skills and practice this kind of thinking.
A runner with a strong work ethic and the determination to improve both physically and mentally rarely fails, and it is indisputable that the same applies to a strong student. It certainly helps that running offers a close-knit community of wonderful friends! I treasure the relationships I have made with my team and am immensely grateful for its influence over my academic and personal life.