Transitioning from a collegiate athlete to a non-athlete on campus
The transition of being an athlete to no longer being an athlete is one that brings many struggles.
I have been playing sports since I can remember; I picked up lacrosse when I was in about fourth grade.
I kept playing all the way through my sophomore year of college here at Christopher Newport University.
Playing sports has always been somewhat of an outlet for me.
Whenever something was bugging me, I had a bad day or school was hard, I would remember that I had practice or a game later that day and I would instantly feel better.
Sports allowed for me to forget whatever was going on in my life, I could just compete and have fun.
Sports do get tougher as you grow older, playing in college for example was not always fun and games.
Sometimes things would get very competitive.
It can take a toll on you mentally and physically, but lacrosse was always still that outlet for me and I loved the game.
At the end of my sophomore season I decided through a lot of deliberation that it was time for me to step away from lacrosse.
This was a decision that was in no way easy for me and even though it was best for me, I knew it would bring a lot of challenges.
Fortunately for me, only a week after I quit it was the end of the semester and time to go home for summer break.
This made it a bit easier in that I wasn’t around my team all the time.
Then the next semester, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, which also helped because it was giving me time to be away from the sport.
Quitting a sport you love feels like someone you are close to has died.
You need time to grieve and being abroad gave me that time.
I was able to heal and come back to school feeling very confident in my decision.
Coming back was not as easy as I thought it would be.
I was always around my former teammates and around the sport which made it hard not to miss it.
Even though it was difficult I had friends and family to lean on if I was struggling.
I got over it very quickly and realized that I now had so much more time to devote to other things. I joined a sorority, I started writing more for the newspaper and I had more time to hang out with friends that were not involved in athletics.
Though quitting was a very hard decision and I struggled, it ultimately made me happier.
I have been able to branch out and get involved with a multitude of activities on campus.
The transition is different for everyone and for me it was hard, but it is the hard things in life that make you who you are.
I am still able to be around the sport in ways that make me happy, such as practicing with my younger sister and supporting her as she goes on to prepare for her college lacrosse career.
Overall, I wouldn’t give up my experience with lacrosse for anything because it has brought so much good into my life.
And though I am no longer a collegiate athlete that doesn’t mean I have stopped playing sports.
I play intramural volleyball so that I can still have my outlet as well as the time I wanted to do other things.
Sports have always been a big part of my life and they always will be.
Even though I am not a collegiate athlete anymore does not mean I can’t enjoy sports the way I have for my entire life.
Just because you have moved on from something does not mean you have to forget it.
~Taryn Hannam-Zatz, Staff Writer~