This I Believe

Karina - Miami, Florida
Entered on April 2, 2007

‘This I Believe’

Student-Athletes are more educated than non-athletic students

Going through school as both a regular student, and a student-athlete has shown me the vast difference in the lives of these two groups of individuals. In my early years of high school I did not participate in any kind of sports, but in the later part I decided to join the track and field team. This changed my actions, thoughts, and other aspects of myself, as I had to apply myself to this sport that I had fell in love with and in which I am a present participant. I believe that I had become a more educated person, as I became a student-athlete.

Becoming more educated, as many people perceive, is not about achieving a higher academic status, but rather, it is having more knowledge about life through experiences, and the development of mental and moral growth. In society today, employers are looking for employees that not only excel in school, but who are also well rounded. A regular student does not have the same experiences as a student-athlete. As a student-athlete, I not only have to worry about my sport, but also how I perform in class. I have a very demanding schedule. Even though there are twenty-four hours in a day, it sometimes feels as if five hours has been cut off. Non-athletes have luxury time after their classes, having time to study and participate in extra-curricular activities like student groups and sororities, for instance.

I practice for at least three hours per day, for five to six days per week with competitions every other weekend. Having practice everyday takes away from my study time and sometimes even class time. This has enforced me to be a more focused and organized and person. For example, before I participated in track and field I never studied ahead of time, but since track came into my life I started to do my work a week before it was due. Time management skills were adopted as well. Also, in any sport you learn to cooperate with your team members; this helped me incorporate this vital characteristic when it comes to any kind of group work. Non-athletes hardly have opportunities to learn effective cooperative skills.

To gain achievement in athletics, commitment and dedication seem to play the most important roles, especially in the training and preparation. To be successful in anything in life, one has to be loyal and devoted. The success in my eight hundred meter race two weeks ago proved this to me. Additionally, track and field has made me a more competitive person, which helps to bring out my full potential at all times. As a business in a competitive market performs to its best to win customers, so too do athletes behave because of their competitive spirit.

At first it was very difficult, but over the years I learned how to balance the two into my life. Unfortunately as the years added up in track and I get higher in my education the two seem to be drifting apart. What is worse is that most students perceive me as a lazy student that has things handed to me because of some of the benefits hat student-athletes acquire. I have to study just as much as non-athletes, go to class like them, and above all I still have practice. Participation in sports has shaped my character and has made me a more educated person than I was before.