College is an exciting transition to go through for any student, athlete or not. There is even more excitement as an athlete coming to college because they are going to be apart of a college team which is what most highschool athletes dream of. This dream can be quickly met with the reality of college football. There are many long days and nights with early wake-ups that come with being a collegiate athlete that can become tiring.
If you are familiar with college football, you have heard about fall camp. This is the period right before the season where the whole football team practices and prepares for the upcoming season. This is the worst part of the year for most players because the amount of hours that are put in each day. Fall camp usually lasts about a month and you spend everyday at the football facility. You can expect to wake up very early, have a few hours of film, a few hours of workouts, and a practice. The time during these activities are filled with mandatory meals, meetings with medical staff, and sleep. Since you are so busy throughout the day, most players sleep in the locker room because you want to spend every second that you aren't doing something sleeping.
There are 2 reasons why fall camp is dreaded by many players. The physical exhaustion that you will go through is like no other. You workout and practice almost everyday for a month straight. The mental aspect of fall camp to me is the worse of the 2. You spend almost all of your time in the fooball facility for about a month with no contact with other people from outside of the team. This paired with physical exhaustion is what makes it so dreaded. I am not trying to scare anyone, I am just trying to prepare you.
Hero to Zero
If you are a collegiate football player, you are good at football. You may be used to being one of the best players on your highschool team. This will change once you get on campus because everyone was the best on their team or else they wouldn't be on your college team. This is hard for some athletes to overcome because they aren't used to that kind of adversity. This is completely normal, you just have to stick to what got you there and continue to work hard.
Time management is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome as a freshman. There is a huge transition from a simple highschool schedule to a complicated college schedule. As an athlete, you are have to plan for your school obligations but also have to plan for your football obligations as well. This can become complicated if you do not have the structure behind your schedule. You have to look at your days in advance and plan to do certain things at certain times. It is easy to become overwhelmed with a schedule like that, but as long as you write things down and plan for your obligations, then you will be fine.
As a freshman, it is very important to meet people that are outside of the team. It is a good thing to have great friends inside of the team, but also a good thing to find friends that aren't apart of the team. At the end of the day, you are a college student and you should take the advantages that come with it. Network with people early on and establish friendships with them and your college experience will be much better. You never know who is going to do what in the future.
College is a fun time and should be enjoyed by anyone who is able to make it there. You will meet some of your best friends at college, but don't let this get in the way of why you're there. You are there to play football and to get an education. You will need to make sacrafices along the way, but if you manage yourself correctly and stick to what's important, you will be successful.