It’s okay to be a nerd

Story by Hannah Gray, Print Co-Editor, Online Co-Editor

As a four year varsity athlete, college softball was always thought to be in the cards for me. I visited camps, met coaches and, seemingly, had a plan for my next four years.

However, after my recent commitment to Pittsburg State University Honors College, I’ve received many comments about softball “not working out for me,” or how I chose to “be a nerd instead.” 

For myself, and many others, committing to college for academics is not a back-up plan, nor is it something we had to settle for.

In reality, softball just didn’t fit into my four-year plan. Nursing school, two jobs, being a big sister, that makes for a busy schedule. Softball would have added hours of weights, conditioning, practice, games and team events to those. Not to mention the benefit that the Honors College has on my education during and beyond undergraduate school. 

Honors College is a place for high achieving, hard working honors students. For starters, students not only have to be accepted into the college at which they want to join an academic program, but there are many requirements to be eligible to apply for these specific programs. In my instance, PSU honors college requires that individuals have a 28 on the ACT and a 3.5 unweighted GPA for first consideration, and a 27 on the ACT with a 3.5 unweighted GPA for second consideration. Meeting these requirements is a process that has to be started freshman year of high school, and continued throughout all four years. PSU even has a second round of the application that consists of an interview in front of a panel made up of current staff and students, as well as alumni. 

In addition to this, students who are members of the honors college commit themselves to working hard for the next four years in order to maintain eligibility. Most programs have requirements for completing honors credits and graduating with honors. Some programs also require hours of community service or campus involvement as well. 

I encourage every student torn between academics and athletics to never close the door to the latter. It’s okay to be a nerd, and we should all embrace it. There will be people who tell you it’s not the same, you don’t deserve to have a public signing, you’re not as “cool” because you didn’t commit for a sport. Don’t let them influence your decision. 

It’s okay to be a nerd.