I was a rower all four years of high school at a club team in San Francisco. It was a very competitive team and when I was looking at colleges junior and senior year I was looking for a team atmosphere that fostered competitiveness and teamwork. I was looking at other D1 teams for rowing all around the country and so my decision to come to Santa Clara really came down to the academics and the support they could offer me as a student athlete. I wanted a school that would help me with my learning disability as well as help me be
competitive. Santa Clara was the school that really stood out to me because of the small sizes of the classes and my ability to be a double major, to be an athlete, and to hold jobs on campus.
I came in as an athlete and so my practices started a week before classes start. Our official season for rowing is in the spring but we sometimes race in the fall so we didn’t have to stay at school during the summer to practice. Some teams that have fall seasons will have to come in a month or so early to start to practice together, so it really just depends on the sport.
My experience as a student athlete has been extremely positive. I spend 20+ hours a week with my team, so I have been able to form very close bonds with them and now they are like my family on campus. I think being an athlete not only gives you a family from the people on your team, but also the connection with all of the student athletes who understand the demands and dedication that it takes to be a Division 1 athlete.
While being a student athlete offers a lot of benefits, it also is a huge time commitment. Being able to have time management is essential and I think it is really important to have a group outside of athletics as well. Spending 20+ hours a week with the same 30 people can feel like you are living in a bubble and so SCU really pushes the athletes to get involved in other programs and pushes them to be academically challenged.
Overall being a student athlete is a privilege. Being able to represent Santa Clara athletics and wear the logo really shows our dedication and love for the school and so we are really lucky to have that ability. SCU has made sure that we are students first, and athletes second, but also that our teams strive to be better than we thought we could.
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