As the 2014-2015 school year approaches I was thinking about what I would've told myself going into my freshman year of college. I did a lot of things right, but I also had my fair share of mistakes. If you have yet to read 'A Letter to Every Collegiate Athlete' I suggest you start there.
Worried about surviving your freshman year? Don't be. Just follow these simple steps and you'll be alright.
1. KNOW YOUR WHY—Are you there to be the life of the party or to be the best athlete you can be? As Coach Harvey says, "The parties are better in Monaco." While we're on the topic of partying, don't drink out of random cups, and know that you are always being watched (you can thank social media for that).
2. Get to know the important people—Basically everyone in the athletic department, especially your Athletic Director, whoever is in charge of financial aid, your academic counselor, and the person who is in charge of the life skills department.
3. Volunteer— Give back to your community (plus it looks good on your resume). Join a club, basically get involved!
4. Make friends— Make friends in the dorms, in your classes, randomly walking. However you have to do it, do it. Yes, you'll be besties with your teammates for the first month or so, but you might get tired of their pretty faces. Besides, it's great to know a variety of people, not just athletes.
5. Stay away from the fast food—Yes, I'm aware that cooking in the dorms takes some creativity, but do not get suckered into eating Burger King for every meal (ever heard of the Freshman 15?). Instead try "family dinners" with your teammates. It's a great way to bond, and it'll save you money. All you need is a couple of bucks and someone who can cook.
6. Befriend your academic advisor—They hold your future in their hands. Seriously. They are the liaison between you and your coaches. If you need tutoring, have schedule issues or don't know what to major in they are the go to person. Their office is also a great place to have emotional breakdowns just in case the locker room is occupied.
7. Take advantage of tutoring—I REPEAT. TAKE. ADVANTAGE. OF. TUTORING. Even if you have a passing grade (Cs are not something to brag about) get a tutor.
8. Go to office hours—Students rarely take advantage of this time, but teachers will remember the person who came in to ask a question about the material being covered. Attending office hours could be the difference between an A and B—I'm just sayin'.
9. Invest in a day planner—It will change your life. With your busy schedule the last thing you want to be is unorganized. Write down due dates for assignments, quizzes/tests, practices, meets etc.
10. Live it up to the fullest!—Your freshman year will fly by. Enjoy every moment. Learn something new every day. Don't give up & be patient with the process.
I hope that your freshman year is full of nothing but success on and off the field/court/track/pool. I wish you all the best of luck!
Do you have any questions/concerns about being a student-athlete? Please leave them below!