Being a Student-Athlete at a smaller school

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I’m Jimmy Harrington, a freshman at Furman University in Greenville, SC. I play D-1 Lacrosse here at Furman, and I just wanted to share my experiences so far. Playing any sport in college at any level takes time and dedication. I like to think that I have two-jobs throughout college. One, being a student-athlete. Two, playing a sport. It is a lot of work, however, if you really enjoy what you’re doing you will love it.

Being at Furman, a school of a little over 2,700 students - not much bigger than my HS - at first is a little bit of a culture shock. Most people go into college nervous about the size, and I didn’t have to worry about that at all. The benefit of a small-liberal arts college like Furman would be the intensiveness of the classes and relationships with your faculty. My class sizes are very similar to high school... my biggest being about 30 students. The dynamic in the classroom is very different of that of a 300 person auditorium. Attendance is strict, you must be in class, and you must perform in class. Any school you go to will be rigorous, challenging, etc. my advice to you would be embrace the suck. Challenge yourself, find things that you like and don’t feel sorry for yourself.

As a Lacrosse player, when I’m running at 6 AM it’s easy to feel sorry for myself. I try to think about all the people who weren’t given the opportunity that I was given and I use that as motivation to get me through whatever. Enjoy meeting people from different areas, make it special. After playing in my first collegiate game against Duke, a school I grew up watching and admiring, it was a surreal experience playing against them. All in all, enjoy the opportunities you’ve been given and cherish the time you have to play the sport you love.