The Best And Worst of Being A Collegiate Student-Athlete: Sophomore Women’s Lacrosse Natalie DePersia

Rowan's Women's Lacrosse players huddle on the field.

Today’s story is by sophomore Public Relations major Natalie DePersia. Natalie is from Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden County) and rents a house off-campus with friends.

Natalie DePersia poses for a photo.

Interdependent, focused, and self-motivated.  These are just three adjectives that I believe describe a successful student-athlete. Being a student-athlete is hard, time-consuming, and mentally and physically draining. However, I would not trade this college lifestyle of mine for any other college experience. This lifestyle comes with many perks, but also, some people would say, many sacrifices.  

Natalie DePersia playing lacrosse.
Natalie DePersia playing lacrosse.

The positives of being a collegiate athlete consist of: gaining an instant community, the countless life lessons you learn from playing a team sport, the physical health benefits of playing sports, and of course, comedically, it is acceptable to wear sweatpants every day. As a member of the Rowan Women’s Lacrosse Team, our schedule on a day-to-day basis is very hectic and just simply, long. A typical day in my life during our lacrosse season, on a game day, is structured like so: wake up at 7 am, go to class from 8 am to 10:45 am, go to the locker room to get ready to leave for the game, leave Rowan by 11:30 am, arrive at the opponent’s field at 2:30 pm, start warming up at 3 pm, play the game from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, board the bus and get home by 7-8:30 pm (depending on how far the game was located), shower and start homework, lights out by 11:30 pm, and then repeat. This lifestyle was overwhelming but also led me to learn how to multitask so well. I also learned how passionate I was about playing a collegiate sport and was committed to becoming better every day. Personally, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.  

Natalie poses in the car.

Being a collegiate athlete is not always as glamorous as it seems. Because of all the time spent on athletics, you may need to sacrifice your time and your experiences. Some of the negatives of being a student-athlete are: having less time to focus on your academics, having a limited social life, having an increased risk of injury because of your participation in athletics, and setting limits on extracurriculars.

Being a student-athlete takes a lot of mental focus, commitment, and time management to balance between athletics and academics. Even though I do miss out on certain things that regular college students experience, I would not trade the lifestyle I have grown to love. Rowan University makes it more than easy to love being a student-athlete. 

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Story and photos provided by:
Natalie DePersia, sophomore public relations major

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