Growing up, I played many different sports such as basketball, volleyball, and softball. My family, both immediate and extended, are big when it comes to sports. My focused sport as I got to high school was softball although I also played basketball. I was fortunate to be offered a scholarship my junior year of high school to play softball in college all four years. This was such a great experience being able to travel to places I never would have gone and also having a chance go through these experiences with the amazing women who I played alongside. This sport and everything that came along with it not only gave me lifelong friends and an amazing opportunity but shaped me into the person I am today.
But being a student athlete is not all fun and games. It comes with stress, many late nights, and very few naps. Being a student athlete in high school was manageable but being a student athlete in college was a whole other level. Not only was I having to make sure I was passing classes and making time for studying and homework, but I was having to fit in two hour practices, double header games, and workouts. Let me also put out the reminder that at least half of the schedule included away games which meant traveling on a bus to and from the game and since I was a commuter, I was also needing to include the time it took me to drive home once we got back to campus. Oh, and did I mention fitting in a job schedule on top of all of this?
Stress was something I encountered countless times throughout my four years. I felt as if I was all over the place at times and just wanted to drop out but I knew that was not an option and thought instead that it would all be worth it in the end and it was! Although the stress never completely went away, one thing I relied on the most throughout my four years (and kept me sane) was my planner. It helped me organize my thoughts knowing when I had things, such as games, practices, and classes, and showed me the other times I had to fit in studying and homework. Let’s not forget the times I made sure to keep open for myself to take a mental break from it all. Having a lot of responsibilities can become overwhelming but for me, finding something that helps prioritize it all, such as my planner, helped me manage my stress a lot better than if I had nothing at all.
“Be kind to one another. Bye Bye.”
-Katie Houlihan, Post Graduate Intern