By TAYLOR OSTROM
The saying, “all work and no play” does not apply to the abundance of student-athletes around the world. In fact, playing sports while in college has a positive impact not only on students’ academics, but their personal lives as well.
College is a stressful experience without sports, so suggesting that sports helps students better succeed sounds absurd. However, according to the National Council of College Athletics, 420,000 college students play a college sport, and a great majority of them lead successful academic careers. Playing college sports equips students with skills that can help them better survive the college experience.
Although it can be challenging to balance sports and academics, it is not impossible. This balancing act is what offers advantages to students. College sports help teach students how to manage their time, improve their social skills and lead healthy lifestyles. These are all key components when trying to thrive in college.
Between the massive workload and never ending practices college athletes are faced with each week, time is of the essence. Athletes are forced to learn how to manage their time, and they do just that. Whether that means skipping out on a party or studying more on the weekends, they find ways to get their tasks completed. With more demanding schedules, athletes may have to study and sleep more and drink less, but these sacrifices only help keep them focused while increasing their chances of success.
Playing sports in college also improves students’ social skills. College is a place to make friends, and this is accomplished much easier when a student can easily socialize with his or her peers. Being part of a team is an amazing experience. Teammates become family and a great support system when the inevitable stress of college reveals itself. Joining a sports team can prevent students from feeling excluded and depressed. Being part of a team gives students a sense of purpose and their own niche within the college world.
Believe it or not, staying healthy in college helps students academically. College athletes must stay in shape in order to perform well during games. When fit, people tend to feel better about themselves and much more energized. This energy is useful when cramming for finals, writing research papers and completing projects. Doing schoolwork, and looking good while doing it, has never hurt anyone.
So a word of advice to students looking to develop effective skills that will help them survive college…check out the sports offered here on campus, whether it be a varsity sport or club sport. It just may change your college experience for the better.