That First Year As a College Athlete

Picture by David McBee

We at The Underground Recruit are always working to make sure we share the information not everyone is talking about at the recruiting seminars.  One of the perspectives we plan to share more about is what is the college athlete experience like from A COLLEGE ATHLETE.  With that we welcome J Tha Athlete!  J brings recruiting and playing experience from the high school level as well as multiple college levels including University of Colorado (DI), Sam Houston State (DIAA), Garden City CC (JUCO) and Tarleton State (DII working to be DIAA.)

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“Going into your first college year is an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Then add sports into the mix. From gaining independence to then learning that you wish you were back home where everything used to make sense, here is a slight overview of the things me and my teammates experienced are first few years…

  • Home Sickness– where we missed everybody at home that made used feel comfortable and made sense. Being away at college is fun at first and then after a while it gets uncomfortable for some.
  • Freedom– Leaving from home you now are introduced to a more independent life style. You may have some restrictions based on living quarters (Dorm style living) such as how many people you can have over, if you can have the opposite sex over, and a curfew. However, the restrictions you may now have usually don’t compare to those you once had with your parents and now you have more freedom to do as you please.
  • Culture shock– Depending on what financial, cultural, and economic background you come from, you will experience many different people. From living situations to completely different backgrounds it may be hard to find similarities with these people AT FIRST… If you keep an open mind and positive attitude you can learn a lot from people you feel like have nothing in common with you and your life back home.
  • Outside influences– It is important to find a good group of friends or “outside gettyimages-1127848159-1024x1024influences” early on in college. You can find theses people by paying attention to their everyday conversations. Are they talking about their future goals? Are they having fun but still making sure their work is getting done and taking care of their priorities? And finally, are they making sure you are taking care of your responsibilities? No, you don’t need another parent in college however you do need good friends that are looking at the big picture in college and not just living life up for the next 4 years.
  • Money Issues– These problems are usually unavoidable. Unless you are part of the few who know how to manage and budget their money at an early age plan to go through growing pains that will leave you BROKE waiting for the next wave of money to hit or loans from your parents. Try to avoid going in to debt to the school by any means. But if you must, start planning on how you can pay the money back asap, it just makes life easier to not owe anything.
  • Transportation– I find it best to have some type of transportation that doesn’t require gas and maintenance. Usually your college campus can be covered by having a scooter or bicycle.
  • Maturity Growth– Understand that college is a pit stop before you hit the real world, so use it to make mistakes and learn from them. Growth is key and perfection is unrealistic. If you can see maturity between your first day on campus and your graduation day then college was a success.

FB_IMG_1512418092416All these things play a part into your transition into adulthood and if done correctly will help provide the tools, for not just survival, but excelling in the “real world”.  These things can be expected at every level.  The main difference between DI, DIAA, DII, DIII, NAIA, and JUCO are the resources that are available to you that help you succeed.”

Thank you J for sharing some of your knowledge!  We will have more to come.  If you have any questions for him please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


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