5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to College

What’s up guys! It’s Irene Pollock and I’m a member of our USA Beach Volleyball National team and an AVP Athlete.

I know a lot of you guys are getting ready to take that next step in life and go to college. And while most of you may be pretty excited, I’m sure some of you are a little nervous and scared too. That’s okay! I was sad to leave everything I was familiar with too but… it’s one of the best experiences of your life. You will learn how to be a responsible and independent adult and that’s what my first blog post is about… 6 Things I wish I knew before I went to College:

1. Just Do It:
Like Nike says, JUST DO IT, literally! Do whatever your coach says, whenever your coach says to do it. Like many young players, I was super raw going into college and had a lot to learn. However, in practice I quickly realized it is NOT always the time to learn it : / Coaches have so many things on their mind, certain teaching points they have to get through, a certain pace practices need to maintain for the team and so on… But it took me getting kicked out a couple of times for asking too many questions to learn that sometimes I need to keep my questions to myself. This was before we made the rule that if I had a question, I was to wait until after training to ask it, or schedule a time to go to the coach’s office and ask them. But I wasn’t supposed to use everyone else’s time. “Yes Coach” is the ideal answer and anything you’re confused about there will be PLENTY of time to discuss with your coaches after the drill in a water break or after practice all together.

2. If You’re On Time, You’re Late:
This goes for EVERYTHING. From practice, to lifting to conditioning, to meals, to meetings. No matter what you do for the next four years, if you are not early, the likeliness of you and your teammates doing barrel roles across a football field is extremely high (and let me tell you they’re not fun😷).

3. Adult So Hard:
Yes, you are going to have plenty of fun. However, what also comes with your new-found freedom and fun, are new responsibilities! YOU and you alone are now responsible for your success on and off the court. Your mom/dad is not with you anymore and you will now have to plan time to do laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, studying, and the list goes on. I would suggest getting a large calendar to keep in your room as well as a calendar you can take to class with you and write out your training schedule for volleyball as well as all your important academic dates. Organization is key and will help with time management!

4. GPA RULES: You’re starting college with a fresh slate! And while there are so many new and exciting things going on, you REALLY don’t want to get behind in academics. If you plummet your freshman year you will be trying to climb out of that hole the next 3 years. So I suggest putting in that extra effort. Skipping a few social events if you know you have a big test/project coming up. It’s SO worth it! My first goal in college was to get Academic All Conference by the end of my freshman year, maybe that will help you stay on track too?

5. Best Friends Forever:
As hard as it may seem to imagine (since you haven’t started college), your new teammates will be your lifelong best friends. You will go through so much together over these next four years and your teammates will be there every step of the way! Your bond is going to be so tight because no one is going through the same experience as your team. So make sure to get to really know your teammates (all of them) and spend time with them outside of practice and volleyball. If you take the time to do so, not only will you be more successful on the court together but these next 4 years will be some of the best years of your life!

I could go on and on but I’ll stop the list here. All in all, I’m SO pumped for you guys to experience this next chapter! Make sure to have fun and remember to be kind to others because every one is just trying to figure it out one day at a time. If you have any questions for me don’t hesitate to reach me on my Instagram @irenepollock and I’ll make sure to get back to you! Good luck to all of the graduates!! 5 Gavin Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to College