1. Realistic Perspective On Your Personal Worth
We all “could have gone D1,” but instead wanted to “focus on academics.” No argument there. However, what we weren’t expecting was that going D3 actually showed us just how valuable we’d be upon graduation. All those first-tier athletes probably graduate thinking they’re the crème de la crème, and, like, obviously are overqualified for every job. Newsflash: everyone is. Turns out you really don’t need quarter-million dollar degree to Google Excel formulas all day for $30k a year. But regardless, our generation has graduated and been rudely reminded that we’re just entry-level bitches. Now, us humbler kids kind of saw this coming. The best of the worst only expect to be just that, in every aspect of life.
From the beginning when we “chose the school first,” we’ve been prioritizing. Keeping up with the rigorous academic standards forced us to prioritize. But, given my extensive knowledge of D1 athletics, I can say with certainly that those athletes don’t know how to do this because they don’t actually take classes that exist or complete work (see: UNC football). Once they graduate and sadly don’t make it to the top, they’re stuck in jobs where their workload is equivalent to that of the campus Adderall supplier during finals week. Figuring out how to extend the deadline of your useless report so that you can “prioritize” your dancing penguin YouTube video viewings is a hard skill to master.
3. Being Unimportant
This is similar to #1, but in a more widespread sense. You’re not only unimportant at work, you’re not even important to anyone else, save maybe a few alcoholic drinking buddies who depend on you to be willing get black out a couple of Tuesdays a month. Sure, your parents still love you, but they discourage you from even considering moving back and designate your room “the dog’s room.” Now see, these guys up top who have, on average, over 7 people in attendance at their games, don’t learn this during their formative college years. Poor saps expect daily high-fives from randos and at least three compliments on their new shoes per week. I, on the other hand, could not even show up for work and not one person would notice. If I went missing, they wouldn’t call the cops “because I didn’t show up for work,” it would only be because TWC wasn’t paid the second the bill came and their “technicians” happened to find my body when they came to rip my shitty cable out of the wall. You’re a zero now; you just gotta accept that as graciously as possible.
4. Drinking In Moderation
As a high-level varsity athlete, you’re expected to put your team and performance first. As we’ve already seen, that is clearly not the expectation in D3. This can also be seen in the drinking habits of both divisions (I think we all know D2 is irrelevant, hence my lack of acknowledgment up until this point). Many D1 teams have strict drinking rules, and even entire seasons that are dry (woof). If I ever heard of a team in my conference doing a dry season, I immediately pitied them because I just knew they’d be regretting that for the rest of their lives. Like, did you really just forgo the shit-show that is homecoming to lose by 7 to a team ranked lower than you? You’re dumb. Most of us, however, have the sparest of “rules.” My teams literally went from a 24/48-hour rule (No drinking 24 hours before a practice or 48 before a game) to just a 48-hour rule. Turns out, people in the real world don’t JUST binge drink dangerously high amounts of alcohol one Saturday a week. Preparation. That’s what it’s called. But what about those superstars who only drink in the off-season, and even then like once every two weeks? Well, prepared to spend the first 3 months of your adult life booting in the street after happy hour while all us simpletons are just getting warmed up. You will inevitably look like the kid who never drank in high school and is subsequently the first frosh to get the dorm RA pissed at the entire hall.