On-Court Revelation: The Beauty of Competing in College
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, especially with the craziness that the end-of-semester brings. Every night, it’s a pile of work to come back to after a day of class, endless meetings, hours of research in the library with iced Athenaeums to keep me sane, articles to write for The Quindecim, along with whatever else comes with the job description of being an involved, full-time college student.
Despite the craziness, it’s all good. In fact, I probably couldn’t ask for a better college experience with a better group of people helping me through everything. I realize, however, that this wouldn’t be enough, nor nearly as fulfilling without being a student-athlete.
I never truly appreciated the extra hours my peers put into their high school sports. I had tons of track friends, the occasional basketball player buddy, and even a couple acquaintances on the tennis and swim teams. I never saw the beauty of the commitment, or found the personal desire to polish off a nine hour day of school work with a three hour practice, or matches on weekends. Instead, I’d put those hours into my other passion: journalism.
After spending the last two years as a member of Goucher College’s Men’s Tennis Team, I realize now that the choice to distance myself from competitive tennis in high school to just focus on journalism was a mistake. If I had the choice to go back and play tennis, while also serving as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Townsend Harris High School’s newspaper, The Classic, I would have done it. I mean, it’s working for me in college, right?
I’m not saying I regret the decision completely. Putting in those hours into high school journalism are some of the fondest memories of my high school experience. Plus, I did get in time on the tennis court through gym class, hitting on weekends with family, or even private lessons with friends. Regardless, it certainly does weigh on my mind that I didn’t go the extra step and represent my school as a tennis player.
That leads to what got me thinking about all this in the first place. A couple days ago, I played my first match on the line-up this season. I may have lost, but, man, it felt good. I wasn’t just playing for myself, I was playing for my team-turned-family, and for my college.
That’s the real beauty of being a student-athlete, and what makes all those hours on court and off-court worthwhile.