The transition from high school to college can be tough on all students, but it can be particularly challenging for the college athlete. Not only do you have to attend and keep up with classes, but you have to work out, attend practices and perform in sporting events. 

There are things that new college athletes should do to get their college years off to a good start. Here are five tips to help a new college athlete transition from high school to college.

Make Sleep a Priority

If you live in a dorm on campus, the room is most likely furnished with a desk, a twin bed, and a mattress. Getting enough sleep during your first college years can be a struggle. Lack of sleep affects your brain and your athletic ability. 

You’ll need to juggle your assignments and activities and be in bed for enough hours to get sound sleep. When you finally fall into bed, you need to sleep. 

If your dorm room is furnished with a bed and the mattress looks sagging, you won't have a good sleep. The best time to buy a mattress is when you see it sagging, or you find yourself tossing and turning and waking up all night. You'll sleep better if you replace a poor mattress.

If you share a space with other students, invest in a white noise machine, some earplugs, and be ready to set some boundaries with your roommates. 

Make a Schedule

Purchase an erasable month-at-a-glance wall calendar. Use it to fill in your class schedule, labs, and the due date of homework assignments. Use multi-colored pens. 

Also, use a daily calendar or list, and each evening, prepare your list of what needs to be done the next day. All this takes thought and planning, but an organized life will help you accomplish much more. 

Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) count when you apply for an internship or that first job. Make your education a priority.

Choose a Healthy Diet

Proper nutrition is important for athletes and non-athletic students. The athlete will require a different diet than sedentary students. But everyone can benefit from a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep your brain healthy and your energy levels up. 

With easy access to a cafeteria and a meal plan, it’s easy to put on extra pounds if you are not paying attention. Athletes, in particular, have to remember that calories should be the right calories. 

They need to provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals to perform at optimal levels without gaining weight. Talk to your coach and get some ideas. 

Take Care of Your Body

You’ll be practicing hard as you’ll want to compete and show your value to the team. Give yourself some time to relax and recharge your system after each event or practice. 

Find time to do something other than the sport you normally do. Consider attending other sporting competitions to shift your focus for short periods. 

Take care of your sore muscles. An injury can be devastating, especially in your first year. Find the pool and go for a relaxing swim. 

Have Fun

College is a time of discovery. These are the first years where you are away from your family. You are maturing and figuring out the next steps in your life. 

You’ll meet students from all over the world and hopefully some lifelong friends. Socialize and explore new interests and, above all, make time for some fun.

In college, your courses will set you on the same path as other students of similar interests. As time goes on, you may find you have more in common with the students in your classes than in your athletic pursuits.

These connections can be your future network. When working your first job, you can rely on these friends to brainstorm and talk industry jargon. 

Be ready to form some great memories. 


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