Inside the Life of a Division 1 College Athlete
Most young athletes fantasize about representing their dream school. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait until I was on the team of one of the PAC 12 schools. To me, scheduled practice and lifting every weekday seemed like the ideal situation. Despite the fact that parents and coaches told me it was much more than just athletics in college because academics and a social life would factor in, I just sort of brushed off that idea. I thought volleyball would be the easiest aspect in my life by far which I could keep neatly separate from my academics and social life.
So I got to college and was crammed into a locker room the size of a mini van with 17 other girls. When I got to my dorm, my bed was literally one foot away from one of my teammates. When I went to class there were two or three girls sitting to my left and right. I didn’t realize that the team I was a part of was going to be my life team too.
Anyway, I knew from reading studies that spending so much close time with a group of a few people would take a toll on personal relationships, but I was a bit naive and arrogant and thought it couldn’t happen with me. Now don’t get me wrong— I love all of my team mates and I love spending time with them. But after a few months of almost 24/7 interaction, we began to have small arguments. This tension off the court easily translated onto the court as I felt isolated. I felt it in my academics too as my study scene changed from being surrounded by friends to sitting alone in a library.
After some time has passed, I feel as though my relationships have healed but I have a much better understanding of the coexistence of all of the aspects of my life. At home when I went to school with different people than who I practiced and lifted with, it was easy to separate the aspects of my life but here in college, it’s a much different story.
Written By: Iya Lindahl
Photo Credit: Chris Chris
Iya will be writing about her experience as a student athlete at the next level. The goal is to give student athletes going through the recruiting process a different perspective, and help you understand the commitment to play at the division 1 level in college.