NICOYA BENHAM-MARIN

Guest Writer

benhamnh@plu.edu

Being a student-athlete is a special experience, and it is not something that everyone can do. It takes a lot of time management between your studies and your sport. Any free time you have is used to do homework, and when you’re not doing homework, you’re playing your sport.

My social life is pretty minimal during season. I spend a lot of time studying, working, and playing soccer. A lot of  my social time is spent with my teammates, but we are a pretty close knit team, so practice and games are like spending time with your closest friends. I try to make time to see my friends that don’t play soccer as much as I can, but it is hard when your schedule is so limited. Even though being a student-athlete is busy and stressful, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love every single second of it.

Our team has been having an amazing season. We’re currently sitting at first place in the Northwest Conference. Each member of our team has worked incredibly hard to get where we are in that first place spot. We’ve made countless memories  that span from traveling to England to our games this last weekend.

Each day and each weekend we strive to be better and better. There is always something we can improve on.Our current record overall is 11-1-1, for conference it is 7-1-1, to us our record is always 0-0.

One of our main goals this year is having multiple people score so we are well balanced, as well as switching the point of play on the field (switching the ball to a new side where there is not pressure).

Whether you are playing professional soccer or college soccer, we can always improve, that is one thing our program focuses on. We can always be better, we never settle. I think that mentality can go into our lives as well, always aiming to be competing against your own best self, and never settling for that is good enough.

I think that while being an athlete can come with some stigma, I honestly dont think there is a lot of social stigma with being an athlete around PLUs campus. I think some people see athletes as people who do not care about their academics, and that they only care about their sports  reality we take everything very seriously, whether it’s our academic or athletic performance.

Another stigma would be that athletes only want to hang out with athletes, but as much as I know we try to socialize with as many people as possible, it is hard to though when you spend most of your time with your teammates, and a lot of times those are the people you get the closest too. Sometimes it seems to be that others think that us athletes think that we are better than everyone else, in reality we all are equal, we just live different lives, but that does not mean one person is better than another. We all have our individual accomplishments, successes, failures, and lessons learned whether you are an athlete or not an athlete.

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