There is nothing that quite compares to that first semester—when you first get to college and everything is exciting and each day feels like the start of a new adventure. At the same time, almost overnight you have been thrown into a completely new environment with so many unanswered questions. Will classes be hard? Will my roommate and I get along? Will I like the food at Trim dining hall? Will I eat alone? Who will I hang out with? What happens if I don't make friends right away?
On top of thinking about what every other first-year student thinks about, student-athletes have even more questions. How will I balance class, practice, and games? Will I get along with my teammates? What are my coaches like? Will I be able to play at the same level as everyone else? Is my team doing tryouts? What happens if I get cut from the team?
These were some of the questions that I had going into my first year at Babson. As excited as I was about starting college, there was a different set of pros and cons that came with entering this new environment as a student-athlete. On one hand, you have the opportunity to represent your school, have access to varsity lifting programs, and the opportunity to be a part of a team of people who may just become some of your best friends at college. On the other hand, you have to work harder physically and mentally than everyone else.
On and off the field you as a student-athlete will have more pressure put on you in and out of the classroom compared to your peers. You will have the pressure to keep your grades up and remain eligible, to communicate with professors and classmates when sports conflicts arise, and to perform well during practices and games.
Despite these challenges, I always knew that playing a sport in college would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When I look back on my four years at Babson, playing lacrosse pushed me to be better each and every day. I learned the value of hard work, how to overcome adversity, and how to manage my time. When I think about this season, I always knew that it was going to be different. We had a new team, new goals, and a fresh start. And as sad as I am that it came to an abrupt end, I am beyond grateful that I had this season for all that it was, no matter how short-lived.
This season was never about the scoreboard, but rather about building something new. Despite being a smaller team, our culture and attitudes were the best they had ever been. Everyone who was on the field wanted to be there and it showed in the locker room, at practice, and in games.
In the short time that we had together, we were able to build something that will undoubtedly carry over into the next seasons. Although I never got to have my last spring season, I can look back at my athletic career at Babson satisfied, knowing that I never quit on my team, my sport, or myself.