Written by Tymber Gabbert. Media by Matt Miller.
Student athletes make up just about half of the student population at Greenville College. There are many different aspects that factor into making the lives of student athletes different than the lives of non-student athletes. Some of these aspects include: not getting enough sleep, time management, being motivated to dress nicely for class, gaining a new “family,” and being held to a higher standard. Although there are many other differences, this article will only focus on the ones mentioned above.
1. There is no such thing as too much sleep. Getting enough sleep is something that is very hard for most college students in general, however, getting enough sleep as a student athlete is almost impossible. Student athletes are constantly running from class to practice and find it very hard to have enough time to work on homework. Therefore, homework is usually done in the wee hours of the morning when one should be sleeping and preparing for the next day of classes and practice. Student athletes will almost always use whatever free time they have to catch up on sleep and can often times be found sleeping away during class because they did not get a sufficient amount of sleep the night before.
2. Time management is very important. Just like getting enough sleep, time management is very important for all college students but is that much more important for student athletes. Because student athletes are so busy, it is very important that they use their free time well and keep their priorities straight. Something that makes time management easier is being organized and creating a weekly schedule ahead of time that way one knows what all is due that week and when they have practice or games.
3. You will never be one of those “cute” students. Student athletes can be lazy. Sure they run around for 2 hours every day kicking, hitting or catching a ball, but outside of their sport, they can be the laziest people around. Speaking from experience, it is very hard to become motivated to dress nicely for class when you are in season. All you want to do is sleep all day every day when you are in season, but that’s not the way college works. So student athletes will cram as much sleep into their evenings as possible even if that means sleeping when they should be getting ready for class. It is not uncommon, for my team anyway, to sleep in what they are wearing the next day for class…it just makes life so much easier.
4. Team becomes family. Sense of community is something that is stressed a lot at Greenville College. This is stressed even more when it comes to the unity of a sports team at GC. Team chemistry is very important to the success of any sports team and at GC this is something that is arguably the most important to the coaches. For the women’s soccer team every evening before a game we have mandatory team bonding. Team bonding consists of movie night, going bowling, team bonfires or just hanging out. This team bonding causes each individual on the team to get to know one another outside of practice and games and to find something other than just soccer that we have in common.
5. Student athletes are held to a higher standard. There will always be those student athletes that think the only reason they are going to college is to play their sport and that’s the only thing that matters. Those students do exist at GC, however, student athletes at GC are held to a higher standard than non-student athletes. Athletes are required to sit in the middle of the classroom in one of the first two rows and are required to turn in grade reports to their coaches every so often. These requirements help keep the coaches up to date with how their players are doing in school, and it also causes the students to have to communicate with their professor on a regular basis. Having the student athletes communicate with their professors causes the professors to begin to get to know the student on a personal level which, in turn, causes the professor to hold them to a higher standard.
There are many aspects that come into play when discussing the differences between student and non-student athletes. It is important to remember that not all of these aspects apply to every student athlete at every school. However, those mentioned above are very common for the student athletes that attend Greenville College. There are plenty of ways that one could change the stereotypes of GC athletes, but one must remember we are athletes and can be the laziest people on campus when it comes to something outside our sport.