ASK THE ENVOY: My Sport Is Stressing Me Out!

Welcome to Ask The Envoy!

Students Destiny Garcia and Adriana Chavez are here to give some perspective on students’ issues with school, work, family, relationships and anything else life may have in store.

Ask your questions here!

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Dear The Envoy,

I am an athlete on one of Hunter’s sports teams. I love my sport and I love my teammates. However, I sometimes feel like my sport is not worth the stress it causes me. It’s a big commitment, like, two hours a day, after which I’m exhausted for the rest of the day. I feel like I could use that time much more effectively if I didn’t do the sport; for example I could get an internship. I also get upset when I don’t perform well. At the same time, I genuinely love the sport, it’s a good escape for me and good for my physical health, and if I weren’t on the team, I’m not sure if I’d have any friends. Should I continue with the sport?

Sincerely,

Stretched

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Dear Stretched,

Balancing life is like balancing a book on your head. Some people are naturals at it, and others can’t keep the book on their head to save their lives. Regardless, at some point the book will fall, and that is perfectly okay. Right now, the book seems to be gliding off your head and it seems like you’re struggling to get a grasp before it slams straight to the floor. Take a step back, Stretched, and look at your situation from the outside in.

Belonging to a team is great, and it sounds like the activity itself makes you happy. However, because sports are competitive, they require a lot of your mental and physical energy. Add that onto a schedule of assignments with deadlines, and papers to submit… It can burn anyone out. So here’s what I say: The sport still exists outside of Hunter, and it won’t require much of your time because you will have the power to decide when you’d like to play.

Your friends won’t abandon you just because you decide to leave a sport that helped you meet them. Friendships won’t expire because you can’t see them as frequently. You have the social capabilities to make friends. The sport itself just gave you the platform and a common interest. Save your energy to study, get an internship, or join a less demanding club.

When you have an hour or two to spare, go to Hunter’s gym or a gym around your home that plays that sport, and just take the risk! Spark up a conversation, take your shot, who knows what can come out of it!

Serenity and Hope,

Destiny

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Dear Stretched,

There comes a point where we must assess whether pleasure is worth pain, as you are doing now. Two hours is a big chunk out of your day. However, getting an internship may also be stressful and require a similar time commitment. So it comes down to your values and goals. Is it more important for you to play the sport, considering the joy you get out of it? Or is it more important to use that time to do an internship, study, rest, or use the time in another way that will benefit you personally, professionally, academically, etc?

To test the waters, see if it’s possible to quit the team for a season with the possibility to rejoin. Explain to your coach what’s going on, and that you need to take a break for a season. If after that time you regret leaving, talk to your coach again about coming back.

You may be able to reallocate some of the pros of being on the team. You can exercise in other ways that will also provide escape – running outside, using Hunter’s free pool in the North building basement, taking a weekly exercise class, etc.

Your teammates will want to stay in contact if they’re true friends. However, you’ll still have to make an effort. Before you quit, spend time with your teammates outside of practice and games. See if you can grab a slice, get schoolwork done, or go see a game together. This way, your friendships don’t only exist inside the sport and are less likely to disintegrate when you leave. After you do, you can reach out to them to hang out more.

I still encourage you to make new friends. Your former teammates might be too preoccupied with the sport to get together all the time, or it may be awkward to hang out with them all in a group when you’re the only person not on the team.  

Some things I do to cultivate new friendships are joining clubs and asking classmates if they’d like to study for an exam together. Recently, I flat out told  someone I met “we should be friends,” exchanged contact info, and later made plans to get together that weekend. It can be awkward at times, and not everyone you encounter is going to be your new best buddy, but you will find other like-minded people who crave friendship.

Whether you stay or go, make your decision confidently and know you have options.

–  Adriana

Destiny Garcia is a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing. By day she stresses in her finance job, but by night she expresses herself through writing and enjoys what pleasures learning offers. Chances are you will not catch her posting pictures on Instagram, but instead trying to live in the moment of simply being. 

Adriana Chavez is a sophomore studying English and Italian. She writes long form journalism, literary criticism, short stories and poetry. You can contact her at adriana.chavez36@myhunter.cuny.edu and follow her work at muckrack.com/adriana-chavez.

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