Every kid dreams of being a collegiate athlete. Every parent dreams that a scholarship is offered. But not everyone knows the emotional toll that comes with being a college athlete. If we continue to view this life through rose colored glasses, then stories like this will continue to happen. The pressure these kids feel to succeed in their sport, classroom, and socially can be incredibly overwhelming, and rightfully so. I was a college athlete, who accepted a full-ride scholarship to a power 5 school. Trust me, I wish I was telling you this to brag. But, I’m not. I’m sharing with you all who dream of this “glamorous” life to not be naive to real issues kids may be facing. Kids don’t want to let parents or coaches down. Kids want to appear happy, strong, and flawless. When they are struggling inside, they feel like failures because they aren’t supposed to be weak or imperfect. And, the collision of these emotions can lead to significant psychological and physical hardships, even death. This story isn’t an isolated case. It is everywhere. Before the next kid fights despair and hopelessness, let’s open our eyes, and acknowledge that being an elite athlete doesn’t make one invincible.
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