By Sam Bailey / Staff Writer

Deciding to become a student-athlete in college is a major commitment unlike any other.

For me, this commitment was multiplied by the fact that I am not only a softball player at Hutchinson Community College and an honors student taking honors-level classes, but I am also a writer for the college newspaper, The Hutchinson Collegian.

If this still doesn’t sound overwhelming, let me break it down for you. On a typical day, my schedule is completely full from around 7 a.m. until about 9 p.m.

This includes five college classes, four of them honors, softball practice every day, and study hall twice a week.

Furthermore, the softball team plays, on average, twice a week. Each day with two games, usually consuming the entire day.

This means everything I’ve already listed in my schedule gets thrown out the window that day and I have to find time to make everything up on other days.

As you can imagine, this gets stressful. But there are a few things that make everything worth it.

The people I am around every day keep me strong and are the major reason I can do everything I do.

There are some days when I get out of class at the same time practice is supposed to start and my teammates are often the only reason I can get to practice and still be able to work for the next few hours without feeling completely overwhelmed.

Being able to smile and laugh with those girls makes all the stress I was feeling a few minutes before completely wash away.

I also have this support system in the dorms and my classes. The hall I live in is absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t trade one person for the world. We all support each other and, despite the occasional disagreement, we would do anything for each other at the end of the day.

I also have some amazing instructors who know my schedule and always take the time to help in any way they can and are always there for me when I need them, even if it’s just to talk.

In the process of finding a topic to write this column about, I found myself in my hallway at the dorms talking with a young man on the football team.

We were talking about classes and how cool it was that I get to major in writing people’s stories.

Sitting on the floor with him, hearing about his life and the way he views the world, made me really appreciate where I am today and made me unbelievably thankful that I get to write the story of other people’s lives and live every single one of my crazy days.

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