Work hard, play hard

Ferris athletes talk about putting the ‘student’ in student athlete

It may be easy to pick out Ferris student athletes in a crowd, but it’s not easy to know what they deal with on a daily basis.

Being a student athlete is not all it is cracked up to be; even some of our own Bulldogs will admit to just how hard it is to juggle classes and their sports.

“When looking at what is most difficult, I would have to say being gone every weekend traveling,” sophomore golfer Elizabeth Bauernfeind said. “For the golf team, we miss at least one day of school a week and still have a demand for high grades. It gets stressful at times. Group projects especially become a struggle to work on.”

Schedules for student athletes are always beyond busy because in order to compete, they must practice hard to be good competitors and study hard to keep their grades up.

“We miss a lot of class and have to make sure we are making up all of our work that we miss,” senior mid-distance runner Connor LaRowe said. “We are student athletes; student first. If the grades are not there, then we cannot compete.”

It may seem that teachers favor student athletes when it comes to getting class work done, but that is not how it goes in most cases.

“I would not say that we get special treatment,” Bauernfeind said. “I feel we work extremely hard and I have never had a deadline changed because I am a student athlete.”

There are, however, some perks to being a student athlete once you look past all of the work that needs to be done.

“If a class is full during registration, student athletes have a lot easier time getting into those classes,” LaRowe said. “Some professors are definitely more interested in sports than others, and that reflects in their attitude towards the students, in a positive manner. But I am not sure if that constitutes as special treatment. I have heard of student athletes getting extensions on papers because of sporting events or a trip, however.”

With all of the stress from being so busy every day of the week, our Ferris State Bulldogs never imagine giving up being a student athlete.

“Oh no way! I would never want to quit,” Bauernfeind said. “I love golfing and it is so much fun when we travel. The bonding with the team and playing for Ferris. It is the best feeling at the end of a tournament counting all the scores to see who won. It is especially the best when we win and beat Grand Valley!”

For high school students looking to play a sport in college, just remember that you have to work hard both academically and physically if being a college student athlete is the goal.

“I would say do it. I love it. It is a great way to be active and meet life long friends that enjoy the same things you do,” Bauernfeind said. “The balancing gets hard at times but it is totally worth it for all the experiences!”