Today, we’re unveiling the SALT Blog’s newest intern: Boston College senior Shane McNichol. A high school athlete, Shane found that being born to run only went so far in college. Check out his story.
At my freshman orientation, one of the school’s deans said that the student he fears will struggle most is the former athlete with nothing to do. To me, this seemed crazy because, well, that was me.
College was a whole new experience, but I had no reason to believe I’d have any problems. That is, of course, until one of the people who runs the school told me I might.
I tried to just shrug it off, but then it started to sink in. The kids in the high school band could join the college band. The kids who did student council in high school could run for student government in college. I couldn’t make open jumpers against Duke, so I needed something to do.
Back in high school, I played 3 sports. I was captain of the golf, basketball, and volleyball teams my senior year. When applying for college, my school counselor asked me, “Do you spend time on anything besides sports?” I reacted as if she asked if I ate anything besides food. What did she think I was doing?
Every day followed a strict routine. School for 7 hours, practice or game, eat, put some ice on whatever hurts, do homework, crash, sleep. Between Monday and Friday, these were the only things I did (well, besides listening to some Springsteen in between).
Sports consumed about 3 hours of every day, not to mention the endless thinking and daydreaming about upcoming games. To me, sports were what mattered and all that mattered.
Then I got to college.
The thing about athletics is that you need to be athletic to actually succeed. There aren’t that many slow, slightly taller-than-average guys collecting paychecks from the NBA (my apologies to Jimmer Fredette). So while I loved the sports I played in high school, I was never good enough at any of them to play at the college level, particularly not at the school I chose to attend.
For 3 years, I desperately tried to find activities to fill my time. Newspaper, intramural sports, literary magazine, campus ministry, college republicans/democrats (we just met, so no need for you to know which side of the aisle I’m on). On top of my homework, these kept me pretty busy.
But now I have this internship. With it comes a chance to teach other students some of the things that I’ve bumped into along the way.
This is a learning experience for me. I have student loans. That is the extent of my knowledge of my student loans, which is an issue.
My time with SALT is going to change that. In the coming weeks, I will learn more about money management and my financial situation than I have to this point in my life.
I hope that as I learn, I am able to help a few of you as well.
Have a question for Shane? Post it in the comments.