Being a college athlete can be a lot of work, trying to balance schoolwork, relationships and a sport. Even with these difficulties, many high school athletes want to play at the collegiate level. So, what does it truly take to be a college athlete?

“Being a college athlete is super challenging but very rewarding,” UCF softball player Macy Miles said. “It’s so fun to be able to play the sport I love with so much support.”

One of the biggest problems that both college and high school athletes face is trying to balance school and playing. Practice, games, tournaments and meets take up a lot of their time, and even though they improve and get better, it can take a toll on their academics. However, with the help of others, they are able to balance it all.

“Balancing school and sports is definitely a challenge,” Miles said. “But we have so many people to guide us and help us stay on top of everything.”

The process to become a college athlete can also be difficult, as players have to contact coaches, visit campuses and show off their skills. The process can be a long and tedious one when trying to find a college that wants to recruit and is the perfect fit. 

“I visited Georgetown, Bucknell and William & Mary, but the University of Vermont (UVM) felt like the right place for me because of the team culture, awesome city of Burlington, scholarship money and mainly the fact that I also had a spot on the track team, so I ended up committing there,” UVM commit Havana Layton said.

When coming up from the high school level, the collegiate level competition can be very different. Teammates and opponents are some of the best players from all over the country, so that means more exciting gameplay for everyone involved. New players have to prepare themselves for the strenuous schedule and prepare to face their hardest competitors yet.

“At the college level, the competition is much better and the pace of the game is faster,” Miles said. 

To play at the collegiate level requires a lot of work and dedication, but the result pays off. College athletes have shown to be able to handle the challenge and for them to be able to continue playing the sport they love is the greatest gift that they could have asked for.

“It has always been my dream to compete at the division one level in college, and now it is finally happening in two different sports,” Layton said. “Commiting to UVM is definitely a life-changing event, and I’m certain that I made the right decision.”