This project investigates the adjustment to college life that first-year athletes must face. Through personal essay, a comprehensive survey of current college athletes at Arizona State University, and one-on-one interviews with self-selected, current athletes, the project presents the collection of challenges confronted and best practices adopted (and also missteps to be learned from) along the way in a college athlete’s first year and transition from high school to college. By looking systematically, this project brings awareness to the common stressors that athletes face and shares coping mechanisms in which these stressors can be overcome. This project also brings the survey statistics to life with individual stories, including both the author’s personal essay and interviews with individual athletes. While the first purpose of this thesis is to make clear to athletes struggling with this transition from high school to college sports that their experience is commonplace and expected, the second purpose is to set these athletes up for success: providing them with a one-stop shop of resources to assist athletes and any of their needs. The project analyzes athletes’ current use of resources and brings together the available resources for athletes into a single catalogue. This “guidebook” blends previous research on the adjustment to college for collegiate athletes, a new study analyzing the specific resource usage of the current Sun Devil athletes, and personal testimony. What this project revealed was that not only are first-year athletes experiencing common stressors and underutilizing resources available to them, so too are athletes in the second, third, and fourth years. All athletes would benefit from increasing awareness of the challenges and stressors often experienced by athletes and increased accessing of resources available to athletes that continue to be underutilized.
- A Guide to Being a Student-Athlete: The Things Current Athletes Wish They Had Known