*This month, we share the unique perspective of a student-athlete and the impact athletics and extracurriculars have had in the student's development.*
I feel so fortunate to say that extracurricular activities have been a central part of my life beginning at an early age through today as a college student. You name it, I likely did it: soccer, basketball, swimming, field hockey, dance, and many more. I loved it; all of it. I had so much fun learning from my coaches and hanging out with my teammates. I know that I am a better person because of it. Playing sports taught me accountability, trust, and commitment. The lessons I learned from playing sports, I could have never learned in a classroom.
Although the concrete skills learned from playing sports are important, the team environment was especially important for me. I was incredibly shy and found it hard to relate to other students in the classroom setting. Playing sports allowed me to meet new people and expand my horizons. Being a part of a team, even just a casual “rec” soccer team, made me feel like I was a part of something special. It helped me learn I was a part of something bigger than myself. I played my hardest because I wanted my team to succeed. It wasn’t just about me. Along the way, I made lifelong friendships I never would have had if I didn’t have access to athletics.
Fast forward to the present day, I am so happy to say I am continuing to play sports as a college athlete. I have seen first hand the huge effect sports has had on me. The lessons learned many years ago have carried forward to my college days. Staying focused on a shared goal and understanding my own accountability as part of my team means so much to me. I have a built-in family for whom I am so grateful. Being in this college team environment has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and step into many different leadership roles. I know these leadership skills will also go a long way to help me in my professional field after graduation.
As shown in my own experiences, extracurricular activities, like sports, teach so many lessons. I can 100% say extracurriculars have taught me life lessons I will carry with me throughout the entirety of my life.