It’s hard to believe that only two months ago I started attending USD. College life is great, with many activities, events and extracurricular to participate in. In order to have a smoother transition from high school to college life, it is important to get involved on campus. Here at USD, it is fairly easy to do, especially if you attend the Alcala Bazaar. The Alcala Bazaar is basically an event where many of the clubs at USD put out tables and booths on campus and allow you to see which clubs/activities interest you. Whether you are interested in academic clubs, social clubs, Greek life, sport clubs or NCAA D1 athletics, USD has it all. I was lucky enough to be recruited by Cross Country Head Coach Will Guarino to run at USD, and proudly wear that blue and white Torero jersey!
Surprisingly, there is a fairly large population of student-athletes on campus. You can usually spot them sporting a blue Nike backpack with the USD logo embroidered on the side. Being a student-athlete at USD is an experience like no other. Athletes who compete in fall sports arrive on campus 2-3 weeks before school starts to get a head-start in training. During these weeks (preseason, as it is called), campus resembles that of an abandoned ghost town. Only athletes and university staff roam the campus, which helps form a unique bond between athletes of all sports and USD staff members, especially the SLP staff (nearly no lines!).
As a USD athlete, one can imagine it being hard to balance homework, class, social life and work, however, it is manageable. For example, for cross country, I have practice at 6:15am and I have class at 9am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Despite the time crunch one would imagine I have, if I manage my time right I end up having enough time to eat breakfast (Missions Café is your best bet for valley residents), go to practice and make it to class on time. Showering, however, is another story…Non-athletes (and even some athletes) may wonder why we would put up with such hectic and busy days, rather than sleep-in (naps are your best friend). For me, being an NCAA Division 1 athlete is a privilege not many people get to say they were a part of. As an athlete at USD, you learn to make the right decisions and manage your time wisely while playing the sport you love to play.