How Would Life be Different if I was A Mens Volleyball Player?
Thanks to my sorta-not-really newish job, I am surrounded by athletes at least 98% of the time I work. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to complain about having to watch shirtless guys swing around a pommel horse or being in butt grabbing distance of football players, but we aren’t here to talk about that!
What we actually came for: The Backstory
My OG plan was to go to college for swimming, but as most athletes who don’t continue after highschool, an injury stopped me in my tracks; so here I am in a polo, khakis, and a visor watching other students do what I hoped I’d go on to do myself. #DebbieDowner
SO, I thought I’d take it upon myself to get to know what life as an athlete might be like. #GiveMeATasteOfTheGoodLife - Please and thank you.
And, of course I went with one of the more intimidating sports (because let’s hop right out of that comfort zone).
With an average height of 7 feet and a vertical jump equivalent to that of the empire state building (el oh el to that gross exaggeration), we chose... *drum roll please*... Men’s Volleyball!
After that unnecessarily dramatic intro, it was time to find a victim. *cue evil laughter*
I decided to slide into the DMs of one Nick Laffin to get the real scoop…
How would life be different: is it really all sugar, rainbows, butts slaps, and team huddles??
Let’s just put it this way - if I was trying to sell you on becoming a collegiate men’s volleyball player, the infomercial might go something like this:
Are you 6 feet tall or taller? Did you try basketball and not really like it? Would you like to be part of a team and travel to other states in busses that are probably too small for your long body? Do you have a vertical jump above Kylie’s measly 5 inches? How does an iPad, team of friends, and two meals per day, all at the cost of nothing sound?? #WhoNeedsGroceries AM I RIGHT?! And how about that patellar tendinitis - who wouldn’t want that!?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then men’s volleyball at The Ohio State University is for you!
Just 4 payments of 45,000$ plus highschool recruitment and it’s yours!
Act now and fill out FAFSA before Feb 1st for possible aid.
Become a player today.
Inaudible disclaimer: This does not guarantee placement on The Ohio State University Men’s Volleyball team nor does this guarantee some or any financial aid even if the application is filled out before the deadline.
Whadda life - am i right!?
I mean, I don’t know about you, but that’s what I call luxury!
Alright, alright! let’s get serious
Being an athlete takes commitment: From 7am lift sessions, practice 6 days a week, on top of classes, a social life (hopefully), and not to mention sleeping and eating!? #YouThought - I barely remember to eat now!
Nick mentioned that most times he had MAYBE 10 minutes between classes which, if you’ve ever been on the columbus campus, 10 minutes is barely enough time to get from one class to the next so eating (unless you’re one of those ‘meal preppers’) is definitely not a thing.
But, as unfun as an extremely busy schedule, injuries, and sleep deprivation sounds, it seems like life as an athlete gives and teaches a lot more than it takes.
For one: the “eating dilemma” isn’t such a dilemma when a) you can live off the ‘see food and eat it’ diet without becoming a literal umpa-lmpa and b) the department provides a “Fuel Zone” that conveniently allows each athlete two free meals per day. #LivingLarge
For two: it teaches you hard work and time management. I’m not saying that you can’t learn these in different circumstances (because you can), but it’s different. You have to manage being fully committed to more than one thing at a time #Multitasking.
Nick is not only committed to his sport, but also to his teammates, his coach, and his school. He pointed out that sometimes certain ones take precedence over others: in his case, it’s school. Even though he showed little interest in taking volleyball to the next level after graduation, it wasn’t because he didn’t love the sport; for him, it just isn’t as realistic as seeking work that follows in pursuit of his business degree. (Also, school is hella expensive so it’s prolly a good idea to use that degree for something - but that’s just me) Anyway, he explained that when he coaches volleyball back home he makes a point to tell the kids that “it’s great to love the sport, but if you decide to play in college, make sure that you love the school even more”. #WordsOfWisdom.
I don’t want to get too off topic, but he makes a great point. And personally, I feel that this is applicable to all students: college is hard, and being an athlete probably doesn’t make it any easier - when you don’t like your school, everything you do, think, feel, etc. reflects that - classes suck, your grades are low, your friends aren’t enough; but when you love your school… the mountains you have to overcome seem more like ant hills.
The family you didn’t choose, but love being a part of: contrary to popular belief, making friends is hard - even in college. Being apart of a team seems to make this a little easier. I mean, you’re basically forced to eat, practice, travel, and play with a team of boys (and to think of the inside jokes!) - so of course, this spills over into friendships off the court and into your social life. When I asked Nick about his friends, he said that the people he spends the most time with consists mostly of his teammates #ProofIsInThePudding. If you ask me, having a group of 20 + people you can develop relationships with is pretty sweet. Even if you only consider 4 of them real homies, it made that process of making friends (and maybe even finding roommates) a bit simpler. Not to mention, when you have that many friends you gotta remember that they all know other people.. so BAM! Here come even more opportunities to meet people (and throw huge parties).
SO - I know we’re all curious! Would athletics change the status of our love lives? Well, what I got from Nick is that it just gets a little weirder.
In a very direct way, I asked him a pretty personal question: How many times per month, on average, do you get hit on or DM slid because you play a sport? To which he responded “about once a month”.
Ok, so nothing too absurd.. but more than the average Jo.
He then added that most of the times it’s, and I quote, “little girls [around the age of 12] who come up to me after games like *cue prepubescent female voice* ‘HI. So, I saw you play.. and you were um... so great’.”
So ladies! It feels like it’s safe to say that if you want a real chance with a dude, shoot your shot at a student athlete because how refreshing would it be to have someone your own age hit on you?? #ShouldaAsked
And of course, what about a Social Life?
I’ll bet that I’m not the only one looking in from the outside, thinking “It’s gotta be extravagant - I’m seeing free alcohol, invites to all the best parties, bottles brought to your table - which is conveniently on the Ohio State University Volleyball departments tab - and any lady at your beck and call.”
Contrary to that assumption, their social life is pretty similar to that of any other college student: bars, house parties with sh*tty beer (unfortunately I didn’t hear anything about free bottles), bad dancing, loud music, video games, and hanging out with friends - more generic than originally thought, right?
However, Nick did mention two things that stuck out: 1) An annual Jorts party that all of the boys, including himself, partake in (el oh el - what I would give to see that in action) and 2) a broken floor due to a crazy party. (Going back to the friends thing: maybe this is a con of knowing so many people haha - but hey! Nothing that a little duck tape can fix, AM I RIGHT!?)
What I learned from Mr. Laffin
- Athletes are extremely dedicated, pretty good at time management, and (especially during season) very busy. But so is every other college student, the difference is the direction of their dedication (more often than not, to their sport) and what consumes most of their time and schedules (again, mainly their sport)
- Even as an athlete, being slapped on the butt by someone other than a close friend (which, odds tell us that this close friend is most likely a teammate) is still super weird #SorryCoach
- For the most part, it’s unlikely that being an athlete will change your relationship status - but you might get a little more attention from some unlikely individuals #Um-NoThanks
- Parties might lead to a lot more duck tape purchases.
In all, maybe being a college athlete wasn’t for me. Not because I wouldn’t have loved it (because i’m almost certain I would have) but before I transferred to Ohio State, I didn’t love my school. And I’m not sure that I would have made such a drastic change (transferring) if I had already committed myself to a team, a coach, and a sport at that university. #EverythingHappens4AReason
The answer we’ve all been waiting for
Would life be different: Probably.
But that’s according to me,
Disclaimer: This is not affiliated or monitored by the Ohio State University. This does not reflect or represent the thoughts, feelings, or beliefs of the Ohio State University.