1. How to do laundry.
At my school, they did all our athletic laundry for us. I’d gather all my nasty clothes, load up my loop, and 24 hours later I’d have a wonderfully new bag of clean clothes. Now that my entire wardrobe has changed (see #6), I have to separate colors, know when to use cold and hot, and actually read clothing tags. Shit’s ridiculous.
2. How to eat correctly.
Trust me, athletes KNOW how to eat. We’re practically more professional at eating than our sports. However, when your workout schedule changes from four hours a day to no hours a day, you can’t consume 14,000 calories anymore without becoming a fat lard. Not being able to eat whatever you want is life shattering.
3. How to workout alone.
Where’s my strength coach yelling at me to run another lap faster? Where’s the workout plan for the day? Where are my teammates that I get to bitch about the workout with? I CAN’T DO IT ALONE.
4. How to deal with so much free time.
I have no idea how NARPs (non-athletic regular person) run out of time in the day. There is at least a solid 5 hour chunk re-entered into my life and I have no idea what to do with it.
5. How to make friends.
Listen, we’ve been automatically befriending teammates since we were roughly 10 years old. In the real world, making friends doesn’t mean bonding over a death practice or delirious bus rides. How are we supposed to know who these people really are?!
6. How to dress.
You mean I can’t wear nike shorts and sweatpants every single day in the real world? I have to wear actual clothes? Are we sure I don’t have any more years of eligibility left?
7. How to solve real world problems.
I recently interned with a guy that showed up 10-30 minutes late every single day. During that time, I would have PTSD flashbacks and an overwhelming fear that my boss was going to make the entire office run until he showed up. Apparently physical punishment isn’t an acceptable way for people to learn their lessons in the real world. Go figure.
8. How to not be as competitive.
Competing as an athlete is great. Competing 24/7…. not so much. I’m sorry but your co-workers don’t care if you made 14 trashcan baskets in a row or how many coffees you can carry at one time. It’s a shame.
9. How to not hurt.
I don’t know about you, but my body already sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies. Learning how to maintain your own injuries without your beloved athletic trainer is freaking hard. I know I go to her all the time with things like “Why does my arm hurt when I twist it like this?” and “I have this weird red mark, is it STAPH?” My athletic trainer is going to miss me so much.
10. How to live without your teammates.
This one is a bullet to the chest. These people have been with you through everything from literal hell to some of the greatest days of your life. They aren’t just friends, they’re family. But just because you don’t get to see and talk to them everyday doesn’t mean it’s over. You will always have an inseparable bond no matter where everybody ends up. Jeez, can someone bring me tissues?
11. How to be normal.
For years we made fun of NARPs for their boring normal ways, but now we have to actually become one of them. It might be difficult for you, especially because some of them don’t like sports. Just be nice and approach with caution.