BY ERIN MADDEN
The start of a new school year and a new athletic season holds so many opportunities for us. It can be seen as sort of like “New Year’s Eve,” just a few months early.
For the freshmen, you are just starting to learn exactly what Franciscan is all about. For those freshmen, who are also new NCAA student-athletes, it’s about learning how to balance academics and athletics, both of which are more rigorous than you have ever experienced previously.
For those who are coming back from Austria, it’s about a readjustment to life on main campus. You see pictures from all your friends who are currently abroad and all the Austria feels come flooding back to you. It can be a struggle to get used to everything again.
For the seniors, it’s the last chance we have to do, well, a lot of things before we go out into the real world. Make the most of it. Get off to a running start.
For the rest of us, it’s about learning how to have a more successful year than we’ve previously had. Maybe we struggled a little bit with academics last year. This year, spend some more time dedicated to your studies. Maybe you were overcommitted and this year you need to learn how to say “no” to some things. Maybe you were too introverted last year so this year, you are committed to making some new friends by going to dances or joining a household.
It’s all about what kind of start we have.
If the beginning of a school year is a struggle, generally the rest of the year will follow suit, unless you work really hard at it. Even then, some people (and I would actually argue most) don’t want to put in the extra effort.
The same can be said with athletics; however, you generally find that student-athletes continually put in the extra time, sweat and tears to turn a game, a match or a race around.
Take cross-country, for example. If a runner gets off to a slow start, he or she needs to figure out a way to make up some time and some ground if he or she is hoping to place in the race to earn points for the team.
If a volleyball player misses a couple of attacks in the first set, resulting in some errors, she can either let it affect the rest of the match or she can go back to the fundamentals to get her swing back.
As regular students, we can learn a lot from our athletes, and we should use them as an example as we move through the rest of the school year. Let’s all get off on the right foot together.