How Being A Student-Athlete Has Shaped Me

Being a Student-Athlete at Stanford has taught me many ways to be successful in areas of my life that have nothing to do with sports. Waking up before sunrise to train has shaped me to be very disciplined and this quality has poured over into my study habits and more. Training twenty hours a week on top of class offers little opportunity for free time and at first, I was not sure if I could be involved in anything else. I attended the SWIB information session and immediately knew it was something I wanted to do so I decided to join SWIB and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Constantly having a busy schedule has forced me to be extremely deliberate in where I put my time. It makes me choose what is important to me and then put those things first. I have learned that I always find or make time for the things most important to me so it quickly becomes evident to me what I love. I was able to make time for SWIB because of my discipline and ability to prioritize, skills I learned from athletics. Being a Student- Athlete has taught me to persevere. Countless times I have been forced to push through exhaustion, overcome a score deficit, or step up to the line again and again for another sprint. Perseverance is a skill that has helped me in SWIB and will continue to help me in the work force. The easy option when something becomes difficult is to stop. Each time you tell yourself that you can do more, be more, achieve more and fight through that desire to stop you become stronger. Life is not going to be easy. Finding a job or internship is not easy. Most people get rejected dozens of times before they get one opportunity. If you let failure or a challenge stop you or slow you down you are putting a ceiling on the success in store for you.

Playing a college sport has taught me to work hard. Every day is a new set of challenges and to get through I have to put in extra effort. People notice hard work. Teammates, coaches, employers, group leaders and more take note of work ethic and this quality alone may open doors. I have heard many stories of employees who were promoted because they stayed late, came early, and went above and beyond. I have also learned teamwork and selflessness through my journey as an athlete. Being a good teammate requires you to put others before yourself for the good of the whole. Many SWIB speakers have said that their one piece of advice is to make your boss and team look good. These pieces of advice have become second nature to me after endless years of team sports. Lastly, being a student athlete has taught me perspective. It is easy to think that your life will always be one way, but sports have taught me that nothing is ever sure. I have had freak injuries that ended seasons and time run out as some of my favorite teams moved on to new stages of life. This has taught me to look at every day as a privilege and give my all because it may end in an instant. This knowledge is applicable to school, a job, an internship and more. Each task may not be something you enjoy but being able to take a step back, realize how fortunate you are to have this opportunity, and put forth full effort will lead to a joyful and fulfilled life.

— Kelleigh Keating