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Going from Being a High School Athlete to Not Playing in College

By Jordan Cady; For the Clock
On April 17, 2017

Going from Being a High School Athlete to Not Playing in College 

Jordan Cady

For The Clock

jmcady@plymouth.edu 

It seems that no matter how old someone gets or how long they have been out of high school, they still have the mentality of an athlete. It does not matter how long it has been since someone hung up their high school jersey and traded in for dorm room decorations; One still sees themselves as an athlete. The majority of people focus on how freshman or new students are doing adjusting to the college life, which is understandable, because it is very hard to alter one’s lifestyle to going from living at home to being on their own. One thing people seem to forget is about the people who were three sport athletes, or were serious about one sport in particular in high school. The people who were athletes in their hometowns, who wore the same number on their back for four years. The people who once labeled their whole identity on being an athlete. The people who could not or decided not to play in college, noone wonders how they are coping or dealing with the fact that a huge part of who they are is now gone.

Playing sports in highschool is more than just an after school activity, it is a sense of life-style, it is a label, it is an outlet, but most importantly it is a family. The friends and experiences one has because of sports can never be replaced. Losing the ability to be able to play sports in college is not just losing one activity someone once did it is losing a huge part of someone's life. Meagan Bircher, who is currently a Sophomore here at Plymouth was asked about her feelings on not playing sports anymore. She said that “It is hard to get out of the mindset of not being seen as an athlete anymore and it is hard to watch other people excel when you chose to stop.” When attending sport events of sports that one used to play, it is hard to separate yourself from the mere fact, that that's not you anymore. Shannon Smith is another Sophomore here at Plymouth, who was asked about her ideals on this concept stated that “You see college athletes and you wonder what it would have been like if you chose that path versus the one you did take.” It is so easy to wonder how life would have turned out if one stuck with sports all the way through college. At the end of the day losing sports really is losing a part of you.

The outcome to not play in college is sad, it seems like there is always something missing but that does not mean that everything about it is bad. A freshman here at Plymouth named Cora Lelong-Douglas, when asked about what she thought about not playing sports anymore she had a whole different outlook. She said “It is different but it is something that I have adjusted too. I chose not to play in college because it is a completely different atmosphere than in high school. I miss playing sports and it is strange not being part of a team, but I have a lot more free time and I'm able to try new things now because the majority of my time was dedicated to sports in high school.” Although not playing sports has its disadvantages there are some positives. It gives people a chance to go find a new hobby or discover something new about themselves. College is a place to find oneself and in order to do that, one must embrace what they have and not dwell on the past. But just remember, you will always be an athlete. 

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