While the majority of Wooster students rushed about this past Saturday during “Moove In,” I was
tucked quietly away in my already-arranged dorm room watching Netflix. My roommate and I had moved in the week before for field hockey preseason. For us, and the other fall semester athletes, this week was a time of eating, sleeping and playing our respective sports. It was also a time of nervous excitement, aching muscles and exhaustion.
Having two-a-days under the sun for a week before classes does not sound like fun, and it isn’t fun in the conventional sense of the word, but I enjoyed it. It’s hard out there, but it’s also a crucially important time when it comes to team growth. We wake up early as a team, we sprint as a team, we succeed as a team and we fail as a team. No amount of ice-breakers or team bonding activities can make up for the real bonds that are made during this week. We are no longer merely teammates, but a family who cares for one another regardless of the differences we share.
Whether you’re a first-year or a senior, Wooster becomes home after preseason is over. We have had the campus relatively to ourselves and have, like our fellow teammates, bonded with it. By the time the first day of classes rolls around we are tired, and our bodies have been pushed to their limit, but we’re ready to take on the semester. I know I am only one example of a fall athlete, but I also know that I speak for many others when I say that I wouldn’t have this semester any other way.
It will by no means be easy. Not only do we have our class schedules to worry about, but we also have to keep track of our practice and game schedules and try to make time for the training room throughout the week to heal any nagging injuries. It can easily become frustrating, even for someone with the best time management skills.
Although we have so much to do every day, we continue to go to our practices and games and give everything we have for our teams. We escape for those couple of hours and focus on what we love to do. We might win or we might lose, but no matter what the outcome, we stand by our team – our family.
Throughout the semester student-athletes will be living two lives: one of the typical college student and the other of a deeply passionate team member. One hour you’ll see them sitting in the pit, casually laughing at a joke or working on an assignment and the next hour they’ll be running their hearts out with a fire burning in their eyes. To them — to us — this semester is more than classes and socializing. Sure, that’s definitely a part of it, but it’s also about doing what we love, with the people we love. And we love it.