1. You will find “your people”
As you’ve heard, everybody finds that one significant figure in their life that becomes their “person” whether it be their boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend. And as you may also know, field hockey is one of the few women’s sports where 20 some-odd girls can come together and become a family, so to speak, as if they’ve known each other for decades. Its an indescribable event and it’s one that can’t be taken granted of. Playing field hockey at the college level becomes life consuming and you find yourself spending countless hours with these girls you may have only met a month ago. These girls will, and i promise you they will, become “your people”.
2. You’ll be in the kind of shape you didn’t think was physically possible
One to two weeks doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’ve been anticipating these one to two weeks all summer, you start to feel somewhat uneasy. Yes, I am talking about preseason. It is an unimaginable amount of exercise that your body has never faced before and you will be damn proud when you finally come out of it. And you’ll be amazed that you survived.
3. Sleeping becomes something you dream about
Ironically enough, dreaming about sleep will become a life habit. You’ll never be as tired as you are during season and I don’t just mean physically. I am talking about mentally and emotionally exhausted, as well. You will break down at some point whether it be after you fail the test you didn’t study for due to a late night game, or on the field when you miss trap one simple pass and it becomes a turnover. It’s okay, you can cry. We’ve all been there before.
4. You will make at least one mistake
This is college people, we are here to mess up. Nobody is perfect and people do make mistakes, believe it or not. However, the only way to fully recover is to learn from those mistakes and use them to prove to yourself and the people around you that you are indeed better than the person you have been. Your coach will be disappointed in you at some point of your career and that is okay! You are not perfect and you have room for improvement. Everybody does.
5. School becomes more stressful than you could imagine
Think about the amount of stress you had junior year of high school deciding which college you wanted to spend the next 4 years of your life at. Well, you’re here and you can multiply that stress level by 300 and there you have the life of a student-athlete. Balancing the 6 pm night game at a school 3 hours away, and the test you have the next morning at 8 am is a huge challenge. But you’ll manage and you’ll push through the class with a B because your professor will see that at least you were trying.
6. Some of your professors will be hard on you
It’s not easy to be a student-athlete and former student-athletes will understand. However, the grumpy old farts that only went to college to get a degree, will be hard on you and may treat you more harshly than other students because you might have to miss a class or two for a game. And then you might have to miss another class or two due to lack of sleep. The semester is only 16 weeks and they won’t even cross your mind after you finish the class. So don’t sweat it when he/she calls you out in front of everyone for not being in class last week.
7. Four years will go by in the blink of an eye
Freshman year seems like it’s never going to end until all of a sudden you’re looking for a house to call your own and you’ll think, “Where has the time gone?” It sounds cliche, but it’s the downright truth. Your days will be packed between classes and practice that you can’t even remember what day of the week it is and then it becomes next month and then the seasons change and it’s the next year. Suddenly, your senior day has come and you’re about to play your last field hockey game on your home turf for the last time of your career. And you won’t be able to think of a better way to have spent the last 4 years of your life.