Coming into college, I thought I was completely prepared for what lied ahead. Sure, the classes would be harder and the wrestling schedule would demand a bit more of my time than I had planned, but I was ready for anything and would make an easy adjustment. I was wrong.
Unfortunately, my public school education did not make me work that hard to achieve success in my high school career. I could merely show up to class, take some notes, and get straight A’s with almost no studying. What a shock it was to me when my first college test was returned to me with a nice big C on it (just to let everybody know it was Physics 111). Now, I must say I was rather distraught after seeing this “horrendous” grade, until I saw that I did better than half the class on that very test. This put me at ease a little, but I was still determined to reform my study habits. This process has not been easy, but it is coming along. My shock at the transition to college athletics was quite a bit less intense than to the academic portion of Wabash. The main difference is the intensity level and being on the bottom of the totem pole again. It was strange to go from being at the top of the ladder as a senior to being knocked back down to a lowly freshman once more. Even more strange was going from being able to handle anyone in my high school room with ease to being constantly challenged on the Wabash mats. Competition breads success though, and that transition may turn out to be the most beneficial for my college career.
Now both transitions have been somewhat difficult, but managing the two together has made it even more interesting. Studying sucks. It sucks even more when you feel like you’re about to fall into an eight hour slumber. Unfortunately, this is often the feeling after practices. I have never valued sleep as I do now, which is ironic because I have never gotten less of it. I hope that managing the weight lifting, practice, and work from classes will get easier as I get more accustomed to it, but for the time being I am still trying to figure out the best system. Balancing the two is worth it though, and I will eventually get the hang of it. I believe competing in wrestling gives me many advantages that I would not have if I chose not to play a sport at Wabash. Sure there is the better need for time management, the competition that spills over into the classroom and helps make me successful, and the comradely between teammates. But the most important advantage is that without wrestling, I would become extremely fat and resort to playing video games and eating chips to fill the void in my time. So balancing the two, however hard it may be, is completely worth it.
Abe Hall ’16