The Life of a (Former) Student Athlete
I have been involved in athletics for as long as I could remember. Over the course of my life, I have danced, played soccer, squash, basketball, volleyball tennis, rowing - I even almost got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do! I have always really valued being a part of a team and have made some astounding friendships over time. If you had told me when I was younger that I would stop being a student athlete in college, I would have laughed at you. But now, I am entering my second year as a NARP, otherwise known as a Non-Athletic Regular Person, and I have never been happier.
In high school, I had been on the Boy's Varsity Rowing team as the second boat coxswain for three years and I had been involved in rowing for five years in total. After being accepted into Dartmouth, I was quickly convinced into joining the Women's Varsity Rowing team and my tenure as a student athlete was set to continue for another four years. I was excited to learn more about the sport with talented athletes pushing me towards success.
During my freshman and sophomore years, I made some incredible, lifelong friendships and was able to compete against very skilled teams. Towards the end of my rowing career, I found that I was no longer as captivated by the sport as I had been for the last seven years. Additionally, with my new acceptance into the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, I knew that it was going to be nearly impossible to juggle the two activities. So, instead of ignoring that I had changed and continuing to overwhelm myself, I made the decision to step away from rowing. It was a decision that had even surprised me and completely changed the trajectory of my Dartmouth experience.
The Freshman 8+ gathering together before our race in Princeton
At first, I was not used to not being a part of a team. While I was trying to figure out what new direction I wanted to take at Dartmouth, I had some time to reflect and think of activities that I was really passionate about. I had joined the summer version of the Ujima Dance Troupe during my Sophomore Summer and, because I had enjoyed dancing with my peers, I decided to join the team during the school year as well. I have also had more time to be involved in my sorority and my fellowship!
Dancing in Ujima's Midnight Scaries show in 19W
While I am still nostalgic and think fondly of my time as a coxswain, I am happy that I was able to recognize that I needed a change and my newfound NARPdom gave me the freedom to explore all that Dartmouth has to offer. If you are interested in life after being an athlete, I promise that you will be able to find new activities/clubs/organizations to get involved in.