Sports

Inside the Life of a Student Athlete

By Hayden Cox

Being a student at Furman takes a toll on you. While it certainly has its upsides, most of the student population has spent more than one evening watching the clock flick past midnight, with the knowledge that they are not even close to being done with studying. With four classes a semester (or more), 32 CLPs to knock out and a host of other requirements necessary to simply be a student at this school, no one will deny that being a student at Furman is a challenge.

If you are a student here, think of all that you do in a day, a week. If you’re like most of the students here, you probably feel overcommitted and stressed more than a few times a month. Now imagine this:

Take all the requirements expected of you on a weekly basis, and add the following: two hours of exhausting physical activity every day, another hour of work in the weight room, where you are to arrive no later than 6 a.m. twice a week, awake enough not to drop 45lb plates on yourself or someone else, and your entire weekend spent either on a bus, riding anywhere from four to 10 hours each way, at competitions where you’re expected to exhaust yourself even further or in a random hotel room that you pray will be quiet enough for you to catch up on all the work for the classes you had to miss. Oh, and forget about sleeping.

Even better, imagine that you do all that, wearing your school colors with pride, then when you finally have a home game, you look up into the stands and most of the students who belong to the University you work so hard to represent are absent.

I’ve got it lucky in a sense. Unlike my teammates and many of the athletes here at Furman, I never had the talent to be recruited by big-name schools like Clemson or UGA, so every time I don the Furman name across my chest, I remember that I’m fortunate just to be on a Division I roster. But that’s not the case for many of the athletes here.

After speaking with friends who compete on teams at UGA, Alabama and other big schools, I realize what many of my fellow student athletes have sacrificed.  Any athlete here who was recruited by a larger school gave up campus-wide prestige, facilities that Furman can only dream of, priority in class registration and housing and countless other perks that come with being an athlete at an SEC or ACC school.

But what makes Furman and its athletes so special is that most are okay with their choice. The close attention we get from our coaches, the community we have with our teammates and the ability to work towards a Furman degree make it worth it.  Yes, you will certainly hear us complaining every once in a while, but despite its hardships, every athlete here is partaking in the sport that has gone far beyond something they do and has become a defining factor of who they are.  All we ask is you put on your purple and come cheer us on.

 

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