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  Student Diary: Academic, Athletic, and Social Lives
By Charbel Joseph Semaan
iHigh Student Writer

News Story 29239 Image I've been in college for a little over a month now. It's amazing how much a person can learn in such little time. I don't just mean what I've learned in the classroom, such as how to have a conversation in Italian, Piaget's child development theory, or the law of counter-suffering in Dante's Inferno. I'm talking about the little lessons learned in how to manage my three lives. No, I don't have multiple personality disorder·but I've learned that everyone has three lives in college. My lives happen to be academics, athletics, and social.

The Academic Life. Classes are going well right now. They began very modestly, allowing me to adjust accordingly. I enrolled in a first year Italian class in order to study in Florence my junior year, a freshman seminar focusing on cross-cultural perspectives on love, and the required course for all freshman called Intro to Humanities -- better known as IHUM.

I soon realized the seminar was overwhelming for me. It was also then I realized the beauty of college academics -- the ability to change classes. Rather than continue with the seminar and do poorly, I opted to pick up a developmental psychology class, since I want to major in the field.

Currently, I am enjoying my classes. Italian is one of the most entertaining and intriguing classes I've ever taken. My professor is excellent, and we are a small class, which makes interaction much more interesting. IHUM is a good class, but can be quite boring at times. There are two parts: a fifty minute lecture and later in the day an hour-and-a-half discussion class. I was so excited when I received an A- on my first IHUM paper!

Psychology is a different story. Since I added the class late, I missed the first few important lectures. By the time I figured out what was going on, we were hit with a mid-term. I didn't do as well as I would have liked to on my first college mid-term, but I promised myself to make up for it next time (November 13).

One striking difference between high school academics and college academics is the roller coaster-like tendencies in college. What I mean is in college, I can go for a week or two having a light workload. Then the following week, I could have two exams and a paper due. I have to be careful of not falling into the trap of leaving everything for the last minute·procrastination is not a virtue!

The Athletic Life. Training has been going very well, as has getting to know my track and field teammates. Managing my training time with classes was finally finding a nice rhythm when things took an unfortunate turn. Two weeks ago, in practice, I sprained my right ankle and partially tore ligaments in the foot. I've graduated from crutches, and I'm currently wearing a walking boot until the appointment with my doctor.

I'm hoping for a speedy recovery because we've begun throwing, and I'm very excited to pick up the discus after not having thrown it since the end of my high school season. My coach also would like me to try the hammer throw. I'm definitely excited about that because in California, the hammer throw is not allowed in high school track meets, so a new event will be fun to learn.

The positive note on my injury has been the tremendous support I've received from my coach, teammates, and friends in my dorm. It's good to know I have such good friends looking out for me.

The past few weekends have also been marked with recruits coming in for official visits. My coach asked me to host them during their stay. It's been a good experience hosting these hopeful Stanford Track Athletes because it gives me a chance to share with them my perspective on being a student-athlete.

The Social Life. Parties, concerts, sports games, going out to lunch, getting a Smoothie, talking until three in the morning, drinking hot chocolate on your floor with friends. There are so many aspects to social life in college. They are all great things, but the tough thing is when to engage in them and when to jump into bed or open your book and study. So far I think I've done a good job of making the right choices. When the time is right and there is something fun going on, then a group of friends and I will go and check out the event. When it's time to study or write a paper, then I've noticed myself being very disciplined about staying in my dorm and working. The trick is to know when to unwind and get away from the stress of studying.

I heard someone say recently, "There are three things a student-athlete can be in college: a student, an athlete, and social. You can be any two of three, but you can't be all three at once." I'm trying to find the secret of being all three because I don't believe I should be limited to just two of them. If I was able to be all three in high school, then I'm sure I can figure out how to do it in college. Just give me some time. And just think, your third life may be drama, music, debate, or political activism; but wouldn't it be nice to be able to balance all three? Of course it would. Next time I'll let you know how my juggling act with the three are going. Peace!

Charbel's first entry

BIOGRAPHY: Charbel Joseph Semaan
Age 18 years old
High School Saint Mary's High School (Stockton, CA)
College Stanford University
Major Psychology
HS GPA 4.10
  • Student Body President in high school
  • Founded a website design company (Onbel Enterprises)
  • CIF Spirit of Sport Award
  • Track & Field Team Captain
  • My partner and I were the Gavel recipients of the Santa Clara Valley Model United Nations Conference in the UNDP committee.

  • Article provided by iHigh.com

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