Margaret (Maggie) Miller ‘16 - April 5, 2017
Life is about setting dreams and goals while taking half a million attempts to be successful with them. It seems to be a never ending journey, where along the way the fails and successes help you to change into the person you are. College athletics is one of those journeys. As a former college student-athlete, in the beginning stages of post graduate reflection, I am quickly realizing the countless lessons I was able to learn from that experience.
Before taking on my role as a first time college student-athlete, I vividly remember the advice and warnings I received: “It is going to be a lot of work. You need to learn how to manage your time. You need to keep your priorities in line, remember, it is important to also enjoy college. Don’t let your grades fall behind or you won’t be able to follow through on your commitment to your team.” The list went on and on. It was not one semester when all of these things began to hit me. I remember looking in the mirror and realizing I was not the average college student, but that I was something more.
As a freshman, I was beginning to feel the stress of balancing my academics alongside my athletics; I had many sleepless nights of keeping up with school work, followed by an early morning lift or practice; it was life consuming. I felt like I was not ever going to survive.
Fortunately as a graduate, I realize the benefits that have now followed. Reflection allows you to see the good that rises from the bad. In my reflection on my career as a student athlete, have realized that although some of my seasons were strenuous, it made me a stronger person. I was able to learn the beloved skill of excellent time management, which seems to be a standard of living, but for some a standard they are unable to achieve easily. I learned the wondrous concept of teamwork, not only in the classroom, but on the field as well. People have this mixed idea that academics and athletics collide when in fact, they mesh seamlessly when cared for equally. I was lucky enough to have an athletic staff and faculty that worked together in order to help me achieve success both in the classroom and on the field. Seeing the staff of Rosemont College work together allowed me as a student to realize that I could fail and not be beat down by it, but lifted and guided along a path that was the best fit for me. My time as a student athlete taught me the value of dedication and persevering even when the demands of life felt impossible. I was taught the power of communication.
In the classroom, I learned how to communicate with my peers in order to accomplish one goal, as well as communicate with my professors in order to achieve high academic success. My ability to communicate in the classroom was then translated to the field. I was able to communicate with my teammates and coaching staff to again accomplish one goal. As a college student, I was not aware of the life lessons and skills that I was learning as I went from the classroom to the field and back again; but as I reflect on my four years as a student athlete, I am understanding how blessed I was to be a student athlete at Rosemont College.
Entering into my eleventh month of post graduate life, the concept of adulthood and new responsibilities seem all so familiar to me. As familiar as the day I learned what is was to be a student athlete. If you asked me as a freshman student athlete where you see yourself post graduation in regards to the Rosemont community, I would have never thought I would be on their coaching staff. Yet again, my experiences as a student athlete lead me into another amazing opportunity. This year I took on the role as the Assistant Coach for the Rosemont College Softball team. Daily I find myself using the skills I used as a player and student, but now applying them to my coaching. Quickly, I am learning that communication and the drive to achieve one common goal is of the upmost importance.
I look at my situation and realize how fortunate I am, and that I now have the opportunity as a coach to pass on the lessons and experiences that Rosemont College has taught me. Although some times are overwhelming, I seek comfort in my four years at Rosemont College as a former student athlete and recognize quickly that anything you dream is possible to achieve as long as you do not limit yourself.