10 Lessons Learned During My First Collegiate Season

by SwimSwam 4

March 02nd, 2015 Big Ten, College, Lifestyle

This college “swimming listicle” is courtesy of Katie Lafferty.

As my first collegiate swim season came to a close, I wanted to reflect on everything I have learned over the last 7 months. From personal growth to growth in the pool, I did not expect to learn as much as I have about myself and about swimming just by swimming at the collegiate level.


You won’t always get along with your team, but you’re stuck with them so make it work as best as you can. You spend too much time together to be miserable all the time.


Before you make any decision that could affect you, think about how it will affect the team as well. Even if you don’t want to admit it, any decision you make comes back to the team as well, no matter if it’s good or bad.


You have to be willing to try new things in order to see new results.


Your teammates will become the people you tell everything to, both the good and the bad. Even if you try hiding things, they will eventually find out.


It’s okay to take time to yourself throughout the season. If you don’t, you will probably go crazy. You’re team will understand if you don’t want to hang out every once in a while so don’t feel guilty about it.


Trust your coaches. Even though you’ve never worked with these coaches, they are doing what they think is best for you. Trust them and believe in them both in and out of the pool.


You are a student first. I feel like this should be obvious, but coming into college much of my years in school were centered around swimming not school. In college it has to be different to be able to succeed. You must put school first and then focus on swimming second.


When your coach tells you to do something just do it. Even if you don’t agree or don’t think you need to they are telling you to do it because it’s what they think is best for you.


You have to be willing to take care of yourself. You won’t do well in school or in swimming if you don’t care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have to know what is best for you.


Learn to love the sport again. If you can’t do that then it’s going to be rough making it through one year of collegiate swimming let alone all four years of collegiate swimming.

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6 years ago

I’ll cut you some slack if English isn’t your first language. I really hate to be “that guy” but I can’t get past the grammar issues.

No. 4. “You’re teammates will become the people you tell everything too”.

That Guy
Reply to  marley09
6 years ago

I really hate to be “that guy,” but you omitted the comma after the word “guy.”

However, the rest of us really appreciate all the value you and your fellow grammar/typo police add to the discussions here on SwimSwam.

Reply to  That Guy
6 years ago

outch. 🙂 Point taken. Sometimes you click “post” and wish there was an “unpost” button. Carry on everyone.

6 years ago

To be serious, you need to learn a balance of partying in college. This is different from team to team, but you need to find what works for you. Some teams will have parties all the time. There will be those guys who can go at it every weekend and still swim lights out, find your balance and stick to it. Maybe that’s never partying, maybe it’s every so often…

If this is for soon to be college freshmen, it’s an important aspect to know and prepare for.