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The Untraveled Road

“It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life” –John Steinbeckimages.jpg

My life has always been structured in a predictable fashion. When I was younger, it began with baseball practice, my days were set in stone. The bus came at 9:00 AM, I would come home get changed for practice, be at practice for 5:00 PM and in my free time, I would be stuffing my face with any kind of food to fuel my constant activity. This structure stayed the same as I grew up, the sport changed from baseball, to football and basketball, depending on the season, but the routine of my life stayed the same. Even as my high school sports career began I soon realized that routine was always a fixed part of my life. When I started attending college, I expected change, but the routine continued, wake up at 5:30 AM, workout at 6:00 AM practice at 7:30 AM go to class at 10:00 AM leave for work to be there for 12:00 PM, go to academic and athletic meetings at 5:30 PM, work on homework at 7:00 PM, get to, sleep by 11:00 PM (on a good night), repeat. The time of life when you are supposed to be making your own decisions and enjoying your first taste of freedom, does not seem so free.

road-less-traveled

So what should I expect when this never-ending routine and structure is no longer there? Should I be frightened that once I no longer have this routine I can’t handle the real world? This new chapter is right around the corner and for the first time in my life, I have no idea what to expect when I am finally free. The best suggestion I have received is, “be open to the unexpected and enjoy it all.” This quote is the complete opposite of the life I currently live. Honestly, it made me slightly anxious when I heard it, as I broke down this phrase in my head, it made me realize, nothing is wrong with having a schedule, but being able to adapt and change current plans is necessary. In order to succeed, you need to take the untraveled road, break away from what you know and allow yourself to adapt, because that untraveled road provides you an opportunity. That you can only find out what when you travel down that path.default

Adventure is what life is all about and the routines of my early life provided me the skills such as work ethic and time management to excel once I gain that autonomy of freedom in my life. When those daily schedules no longer exist, I will be waiting for those unexpected events, and I cannot wait for what they have in store for me. That unexpected change can and will happen, but I am prepared and will enjoy the journey that life puts me on.

 

 

Andrew Barton

Bryant University Class of 2017

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Changing The Suit of Armor

As my final season approaches and I look back and see how far I have come, I am amazed. I started as a boy who just wanted to have fun and slowly transformed into a man who loved the game of football and all it has done for me. Everyone says that football is a great comparison to the real world, it provides you the things necessary to excel in life. As I am here writing this blog, I begin to realize that those parents and coaches were right, it really is the small things that can put you ahead in life.

cleatsI was taught from a young age that some things do not require talent, these traits and habits just take effort and practice. A few of them can give you that great first impression or once you have that job or internship, allow you to stick out among the rest of the employees and interns. The things that I believe translate the most from wearing my shoulder pads to tightening a tie are, accountability, being able to work on a team, being on time, and work ethic.

Accountability, to me this is one of the most important things to take away from football and bring to the workplace. Being able to take responsibility for your actions is prized whether you do something wrong or right. When you are wrong on a decision you made, being able to say, “I did that wrong, but this is how I would fix it,” shows a high level of maturity. It also shows that you want to get better and learn from your mistakes. When you make a mistake you understand that it was unacceptable and you were already trying to figure out how to fix it before your boss or superior told you about it.minion Having accountability is something that in football was necessary because if you were the one player who did not do their assignment correctly on a play the other ten players suffered. Accountability is the beginning of being a good teammate and being able to work on a football team is very difficult. You have roughly one hundred and twenty kids on a football roster, filled with different egos (good and bad), cultures, and regions of the country. This also resembles the workplace, although you may have less employees than a football roster you still have to deal with and work with all kinds of people from different walks of life. What better practice for this than being an athlete where you are forced to work with people you do not know, (at the start) to achieve this goal of winning? Being a good teammate is more important than just being able to work with others though, being able to understand the needs of individuals from different backgrounds is also important to being successful in the workplace. It allows you to help the group move forward instead of holding them back, which allows you to stay focused on the task at hand.

At every level of football I was always punished for being late. My coaches always preached that, “15 minutes early is on time and being on time means you are late.” This saying did not mean much to me when I was playing youth football until it started translating to my work life. As this habit of being on time was burned into me by countless hours of extra wind sprints because a teammate was late while that individual watched, it became clear. Being late does not hurt you, it hurts your teammates, and it hurts the people who got there early because they wanted to get started earlier or get in an extra rep of one thing or another. Being on time and being early is a must for me and translates to the real world because it allows you to be the ideal teammate and employee.

Intern Shwoing upon time

The most important thing I learned through my athletic career is work ethic. Work ethic is something that is all on you. The amount of work you put in is exactly what you get out of it. When you get to the field early or you show up to the office early to get started on a project, people notice. They gain a respect for you that previously was not there. When asked who they want to work with on a certain project they will pick you because they now that you will work as hard as you can to get the project completed on time with a high level of satisfaction. Your work ethic screams that you want to be successful and it all started from a game. A game that just so happened to teach you how to be the best possible teammate you can be.Working hard'

When you look into the mirror, and see the man or woman, that the sport you love has made you, you finally understand why they pushed you so hard. Coaches are more than just teaching us the skills of the game, they also teach us the basics of being successful in life. As I tighten my tie on a daily basis instead of throwing on sweat pants after a long morning workout I realize that accountability, being able to work on a team, being on time, and work ethic, are the traits that will allow me to be successful in my transition to the real world.

Tie                           Football

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