I just completed my first season on the Lycoming College women's cross country team. I really loved this season and learned so much. Many of the lessons I learned could be applied in everyday life and in academics. Here are the top five that stuck with me:
5. Set Goals
- The goals you form should be challenging yet attainable. In the beginning of the season, I just wanted to see how I would do in practices and what times I would get in races. But once I set a goal, it made me train harder. I had something to focus on and work towards.
- This same idea can apply to classes and homework. You can make goals for how much homework you'll accomplish in a night or what grade you want to get in a class. Setting a goal for school helps you stay motivated and positive when you reach your goals.
4. Time Management
- Between practice and homework the schedule can get crazy. Make a plan so you get everything done efficiently. Check lists are a good strategy to see what you have to get done and to cross it off when you complete the task.
- It is also important to make sure you have free time to relax everyday because with such a busy schedule it is easy to get bogged down. Personally, I like to go play piano.
3. The importance of being on a team
- Everyone on the team is there to help you and wants to help you. Whether your trying to get accustom to being in college or just have a question, someone on the team will be able to help you. There are so many people on the team who have all had different experiences in college, so they all have unique pieces of information that can benefit you.
- Being on a team means that you are automatically surrounded by a group of people with whom you share at least one common interest. This means that you're starting college knowing and being friends with a whole bunch of people. This really helped me feel more comfortable in a new place.
- A team also provides constant support and motivation.
- Everyone on the team had to balance cross country, school and other responsibilities. Our coach was really understanding if people ever had a lot of homework or other commitments. The team was always very supportive of each other. A few members of the team are Resident Assistants, some have late night jobs and many are in ROTC.
- Outside of being supportive of scheduling, everyone was encouraging about each others successes. Even if you weren't having a good race, the whole team would cheer you on and help you throughout the course. Having a whole team's support really helps during a race and in day-to-day life in general.
2. Don't Settle
- If you let yourself get comfortable when you could be achieving more, you have to know to push yourself. In a race, it is easy to get stuck in a comfortable place where you are going quickly but could be going much faster and giving much more effort. When you are running for almost four miles, you don't really want to be in pain the whole time. However, being on this team and seeing how some people fight the comfort zone really inspired me to try to break out of my own comfort zone in a race. My high school cross country coach once showed us a quote that summs up this idea. "Success in running means leaving your comfort zone. Learn to love your discomfort zone".
- This idea can apply to academics too. Sometimes, it is easy to get stuck in a rut where studying feels impossible and it seems like you are swamped in work. However, after learning this from cross country, I know that you have to push through these issues. If I find that I am wasting time and not studying, I think of a race where I start to feel like I am not pushing myself and how that does not help accomplish anything. If you settle with not studying or doing homework, you'll never improve in class.
1. Enjoy your time on the team
- After doing four years of high school cross country I know that the time flies. It seems like just yesterday that I was a freshman on my high school team. I know that many of the senior on the Lyco team feel this way about their college running careers. Being on a team is such a great opportunity and you don't want to waste it. In just a few short months I have made so many friends and learned so much from my team. We have seen each other's bad days, good days, and successes. Being on this team means constant support, laughs and great memories. Knowing that I would experience all of those things made me look forward to every practice and meet.
Overall, I had an amazing first season and I am so thankful that I got to be on this team. This kind of support can be found all across Lycoming. If you don’t want to be on a team, you can join a club and find a similar support system. Learn more by clicking below!