Four years of blood, sweat and tears but thank goodness for soccer

Leslie-Ann Kroeker

A student’s life is a jumble of stress and anxiety.

Once you decide to enter post-secondary education, you will unofficially surrender your soul to long nights of studying, no money in your bank account and the constant fear of failing your classes.

Papers, tests, tests, papers… sometimes it feels like it never ends. Of course, it is all worth it in the end when, after four long years, you have a fancy degree (and not to mention the fancy debt that goes along with it).

It is often difficult to look towards the bright light of the future when you are a student. Some days you question your decision and are tempted to drop it all to pursue a career as a professional gambler in Vegas. If gambling is not your forte, then there is always the temptation to develop some super genius contraption that will end up making you billions (sorry everybody, I think facebook is taken).

For some reason or another, students always seem to tough it out because we know that it will be worth it in the end. Personally, I have experienced extreme highs as a student as well as disappointing lows. It’s a rocky road, but the one thing that has held me together throughout it all was playing soccer on the RDC Queens soccer team.

I have had the chance to be a member of the RDC Queens’ soccer team for four years now and without it, I’m pretty sure college would have driven me crazy. Being an athlete has given me the chance to go beyond mere student life and become a part of something bigger.

Late at night when I’m lying on my couch with ice packs on my legs, heaps of textbooks that need to be read at my side, eating a pot full of Kraft Diner (because who has the money to afford real food), I only have one thought on my mind: “I hope we win tomorrow.” You would think that I would be going insane with all of the homework I have to catch up on, but I know deep down that I will manage to get it done. I always do. Soccer just seems to put everything else into perspective.

Being a student-athlete takes time management to a whole new level. You have to manage your homework along with your practice schedule. You have to balance your bank account along with your part time job. You have to spend most of your weekends on a smelly bus traveling all over the province.

The stress that a lot of us feel is exhausting, but something about belonging to a sports team makes it all worth it.

Beyond the fact that I love the game, soccer diverts my attention and allows me to realize that there is more to life than just school. Many of my fellow athletes are exactly like me – without sports we would be lost in the chaos of books and tests and forget the point of it all.

The unity of sports has allowed us to step outside of the library, get some exercise and genuinely enjoy ourselves doing what we love to do best.

At the end of the day, being a student-athlete is worth the stress because it gives my fellow athletes and I a chance to feel like we’re kids again in a world that is slowly changing us into adults.

When we look back on our lives as students, it won’t be the tests that we remember, but rather the memories we formed while playing the sports we love

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