High school to college: student-athlete transitions


For many student-athletes, the transition from high school to college can be quite the learning process. Freshmen athletes have to learn how to balance their time between academic work, training, playing the sport and having a personal life.

Suffolk University freshman Julia Hunt plays soccer and outdoor and indoor track, while freshman Matyas Csiki-Fejer competes in cross-country and track and field. Both of them have exemplified this type of lifestyle and both feel content with themselves considering that being a student-athlete can be stressful.

Hunt was introduced to the game of soccer at the age of 3 and grew up to become a soccer star. She continued to play the game she loves throughout her high school years and was named the 2018 Dedham Athlete of the Year, Hockomock Second-Team All-Star in 2018 and Dedham Most Valuable Player as a senior in high school. Hunt had an immediate impact on the season, starting 14 games of the 15 she appeared in. While speaking with Hunt, she touched upon the life of a student athlete.

“Being a student-athlete is a little overwhelming because of the pressures, time commitments and workload given between sports and school, however it allows me to do the sport I love at a high level and I wouldn’t pass it up or anything,” said Hunt in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

Participating in multiple sports is something the Rams star is no stranger to. The multi-sport athlete competes in three seasons.Having this experience is starting to pay its dividends. She embodied the constantly busy student-athlete lifestyle in high school, which made the transition to college much smoother.

Hunt mentioned how her coaches and friends are an excellent resource whenever she feels overwhelmed or needs academic support. She also credited her teammates and other athletes for making sure she stays on track with her academics.

Being a student-athlete is a little overwhelming because of the pressures, time commitments and workload given between sports and school, however it allows me to do the sport I love at a high level and I wouldn’t pass it up for anything”

— Julia Hunt

“[My teammates] have actually helped me balance my school work and academics because it prevents me from procrastinating,” said Hunt. “Being on a tight schedule means you only have limited time to do your work.”

For Hunt the most challenging part of these past semesters has been trying to get enough sleep. Her days consist of early morning practices, school during the day and all while maintaining a social life with her friends outside of sports. Catching some rest during her free time is what refuels her stamina, which propels her to continue her life as a student-athlete.

Just like Hunt, Csiki-Fejer has embraced being a multi-sport athlete at Suffolk.

Csiki-Fejer, fresh off from punching his ticket as the first-ever male Suffolk Ram to run at the NCAA DIII New England Regionals, also took a moment to speak about his experience. He doesn’t consider the move from high school to college tough from the curriculum perspective, due to his knowledge in the amount of attention and effort it requires to understand the academic material. However, the track star mentioned how much more intense the training is since leaving his high school environment and that he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“The training is tougher, longer miles, harder workouts,” said Csiki-Fejer in an interview with The Journal.

The freshman said that his routine has changed while in the college environment. He wakes up at 5:45 a.m. to attend practice, completes his morning workouts and clocks in his miles early. Having the afternoon to himself is what he really enjoys about the transition given how in high school his practices were in the afternoon.

However, every athlete faces adversity. Csiki-Fejer said his most challenging moment so far was last semester during finals season. Sometimes he would go to sleep at 3 a.m. after working on his honors course project, and would have to wake up at 6 a.m. for morning practices. He described his body as feeling constantly exhausted.

While both Hunt and Csiki-Fejer have expressed that their transition to college has given them new experiences and challenges as student-athletes, they are both thankful for the positions they are in.