By Christy Bishop, a junior on the St. Mary's College of Maryland field hockey and women's lacrosse teams
I've always had trouble deciding which eggs to put in which basket. When I was younger, I not only tried playing almost every sport under the sun, but I tried to sign up for any and every other activity possible. I was a Girl Scout, the president of a few clubs, and a super dedicated student. I needed more hours in the day before I had even gotten to high school. So given all of this, it makes sense that I wouldn't have it any other way than to be a dual-sport athlete here at St. Mary's.
As both a field hockey goalie and an attacker for lacrosse, I get the best of both worlds. I get to both lead and protect my team from opponents' goals in one sport while propelling my other team to victory with my scoring. People always ask where I find the time to commit equally to both of these teams and the truth is I've never really known what it's like to not be in-season. I make the time, and in the end, I think it helps me by adding structure and providing me with a nice break from my school work. My practices and games act as book ends to my days and weeks.
Not only do I have this built-in structure, but I also have a built-in group of forty-plus best friends here. With the two teams combined, I have a ready-made family who I can go to in times of need, frustration, or celebration. My teammates are like my family away from home and the same goes for other sports teams here as well. The brotherhood and sisterhood I feel between the other teams is amplified, especially at such a small school. Coming to campus early in the fall, I get to spend almost every waking moment with my field hockey team or one of the other fall sports teams. We're some of the only people on campus, and my freshman year, these people became my closest friends.
As a member of both teams, I feel like I am a part of the school community in a way that I couldn't have been if I weren't playing sports. I represent the school in a positive way, as one of its contributing members. My family has also become more involved in the school as a result of my membership on these teams. Plus, I get to see my parents twice a week almost every week in season. How many people get to say that about their families?
In the end, my D3 experience as a student athlete has been one of the most rewarding of my life. From the amazing young women I have had the honor to call my teammates, to the pride I feel representing St. Mary's, I feel like one of the luckiest people on campus.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @NCAADIII, #SeahawkAthletics, #d3week, #whyd3