Last night, the Boston College Women’s Summit put on a panel of accomplished Boston College female student-athletes. These women shared what it’s like to carry around their white backpacks, and the stigma that comes along with it. They are not only competitors as athletes, but also as multifaceted and authentic members of the BC community.
Boston College Athletic Director Brad Bates opened the discussion with a refreshing statistic. Our university is ranked 31st in the nation according to US News. Of these 31 schools, the Eagles are one of only 13 in a Power Five conference. And of those 13, BC is the one and only Jesuit institution.
Boston College offers its students a balanced experience. There is no room for the one-trick-pony at BC. Not only would that type of individual struggle here, but she wouldn’t even choose the school in the first place. There simply isn’t the opportunity to exclusively take computer science courses for four years, or to take “joke” classes as an athlete.
The panel featured an array of athletes: Nicole Boudreau (basketball), Jill Lutz (soccer), Emily McCoy (field hockey) and Katty Workman (volleyball). Each one of them would have attended BC for academic and spiritual reasons if it hadn’t worked out with their sport.
Now of course, it did work out with their sports; these females are elite athletes. As a result, the daily life they lead is challenging. They mentioned the downsides of their decision to pursue their athletic career in college at such a high level. Practices and training are frequent, even out of season, leaving all free time spent grabbing a meal or catching up on their CSOM homework.
However, none of these ladies have any regrets about being an athlete at Boston College. They had options: they could have played Division III athletics and enjoyed a less intense athletic experience. They also could have gone to a school where their academics were less demanding and they could just focus on their sport. These options may have been easier emotionally, mentally, physically and socially.
With that said, Emily McCoy joked that the one time a year the team has two weeks off, everybody is bored within two days. As jam-packed as their lives are, these women could not imagine it any other way. They accept the demanding lifestyle because with it comes the opportunity for greatness, which these women thrive on.
Yes, Boston College holds them to a high standard, as they are challenged at an academic, athletic and spiritual level, but these women love that competition. They are driven, accountable and composed because they want to be successful. They care about doing their best in everything that they do, and that’s what makes Boston College special. That’s what brings BC down from that group of 31, to 13, and finally to one. Eagles are up for the challenge of balancing it all.
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