By Julia Maher ’23
There are some people who believe that athletics are highly overrated. They think that people place too much importance on athletics when they could allocate that importance to other areas, such as academics. For people who are not athletes themselves, this opinion is pretty easy to hold. At Holy Cross, a large portion of the student body seems to value athletics highly. Seemingly, this dynamic divides students into two different social groups: athletes and non-athletes. Although both opinions of athletics are valid, I believe that athletics are not as overrated as some people perceive them to be.
One reason why athletics are actually very important for students is that they contribute to a healthy social life. Athletics play an integral role in the social life of many students because athletes tend to hang out around each other and form very close bonds. Although some people may perceive athletic social groups as exclusive rather than inclusive, I do not believe that most athletes intentionally exclude other students. It is simply inevitable that athletes will create strong friendships with each other because they have many bonding opportunities and common interests. It is not, however, impossible to have a healthy social life without participating in athletics. I am merely asserting that athletics can aid in forming strong friendships, the same as any other extracurricular activity.
The second reason why athletics can be important to the overall college experience is the obligation to exercise. Since athletes are obligated to attend practices and other athletic events, they inevitably will exercise more than their other peers. Without participation in athletics, it can be very difficult for some people to gain the motivation to exercise because, technically, they are not required to do so. Athletics, however, are extracurricular activities that require commitment, which means that athletes are also committed to exercising regularly. Consistent exercise is obviously integral to maintaining physical and mental health, so athletics are an easy way to stay healthy in general.
The third reason why athletics are important in college is that they aid in time management skills. Since athletes attend practice for many hours each day, they must schedule their other duties around their athletic commitments. Although some people may think that athletes are less successful academically because they have less time to study, athletics can force students to be more useful with their time and study more efficiently instead. Without athletics or other extracurricular activities to fill up students’ schedules, it can be pretty difficult to not procrastinate on homework and studying. With athletics, however, there is simply no time left to procrastinate.
Ultimately, although non-athletes may not believe that athletics are important for success in college, this mindset is not necessarily correct. The gap between athletic social groups and non-athletic social groups is merely perceived, and the Holy Cross community should work to bridge these seeming gaps. Despite some people’s beliefs that athletics are not conducive to success, athletics actually allow students to thrive socially, academically, physically, and mentally. These four aspects of health lead to more well-rounded students. And who wouldn’t want to be a more well-rounded person?