5 Benefits of graduating from college as a student athlete – Part 1

The first benefit is probably the best. You will have two places to call home.

When you graduate you will have two places to call home and you will probably be constantly homesick forever, both for your new home in the US and homesick for wherever your home country is. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great thing.

It is a huge benefit to call two places to call home, have two sets of friends, and family. It is having those connections, that will open up doors in the future.

The second is education. Getting a degree from an American university is a big benefit.

Getting a university degree in any country is a big, but to do it as a student athlete is phenomenal. Its not easy, its challenging, but you will come out with a degree and some incredible skills that employers look for in new employees. Time management, discipline, the ability to stick to structure and timeframes.

We have a handful of students who are finishing up their two year degree and then are going to either continue on to do the final two years to get a bachelor’s degree, or take that degree back to their home country and keep studying there.

A lot of students use the experience that they have had in getting that bachelor’s degree as a student athlete in the States to then continue on to master’s, or doctorate, or PhD. That bachelor’s degree gives you the chance to make that choice.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, you can take it elsewhere and get further education and it increases your employability. By doing it in an overseas setting, like the United States, you are working not only on your education but you are competing and you are in a team environment. You build more resilience being away from home, as well as independence, and personal confidence.

With a college degree or university degree, your employability rises. Compare somebody that has never really left their country to someone that has gone and studied in the US and obtained their degree from an American institution. From an employer’s viewpoint, they will look at resumes and CVs that show education, work experience and a degree all from the same location. Putting your resume forward with the journey that you have embarked on for four or five years overseas, having completed a degree, and looking to be employed as a working adult makes you different.

It sets you apart from just a normal applicant. Your experience and your route to getting that degree is different and it is exciting. It gives you five additional minutes in an interview. That interview, that five minutes may be the difference in you getting a job or not getting a job. It is the experience that you had in getting that degree and what that did for you as an individual. It makes you a more resilient, employable person, who is goal-oriented and confident.

The third one is the sport itself. You will have improved athletically, physically, and mentally because of the sporting side of things. It is the potential to take your sport to another level after graduating.

The amount of physical biological maturity from 18 to 23 years old, you are going to go through a lot of growth there. By the time that you are done with college, that is your adult body. You are not going to grow too much more, but throughout that time, you fill out, and scientifically peak at your athletic ability. You are putting yourself into an environment where you are training every single day, probably twice to three times a day in most cases.

There is 24 hour access to gym, nutrition plans, strength and conditioning plans with proper coaching, and access to unbelievable state of the art facilities. There is access to physiotherapists and athletic trainers for care and prevention and treatment of injuries, or soreness to get you back to competing quicker after an injury.

You are also competing a lot on a weekly basis. You may have a competitive season that goes for three to four months, but you are competing within your own squads for a solid nine to ten months out of the year, if not more than that. There is not really any other system in the world that gives amateur athletes that sort of access to training, facilities and coaching.

The system is all about giving you that sense of professional sports, and every chance to make it as a professional by providing you with all the tools that you need to become a pro athlete. If you don’t make it, you still become a graduate with a degree and join the working world.

If you go into your training, you go into this experience to maximize your opportunity. If you are going in there to help somebody else get better by pushing yourself naturally, as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, you are naturally helping yourself. It is understanding that concept of team and that is not just in sport but the workforce too. 

Going into a company and figuring out, not just for your own personal gain and getting your money, but about what you can do to better the people around you. It is about what you can do to better the organization and if you approach it with that mentality, you are going to be successful. You are going to be an important asset to that organization, which equals job security.

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