Participating in sports during the collegiate years has its benefits. However, there are often some adverse effects too that are not often discussed. Collegiate sports are highly acclimated activities that a lot of students are involved in every year.

Students who played a particular sport in high school often have the interest to continue participating even when in college. Some continue playing, and those who are good and driven enough to compete at the varsity level.

There are three levels of collegiate sports:

  • Club sports
  • Intramural sports
  • Varsity level

Combining sports and studies in college has its pros and cons, mostly depending on one’s ability to balance the two.  Here are some main ones we’ve identified.

Let’s start with the pros.

A Great Way to Exercise

Sporting activities involve physical exertion, which means it substitutes one’s need to go to the gym. Keeping fit comes with its advantages, such as one having more energy, improving one’s health, and self-esteem.

Better Mental Health

Sports help students physically as well as mentally. Sports provides students with a certain feeling of purpose, connection, and even safety. Furthermore, students active in games tend to have more confidence and a better sense of self-worth.

Stress Release

As a collegian, there will often be stressful situations that are related to academics. Stressful days are standard, especially when students have to deal with strenuous academic tasks. So, students need a way to release some of this stress. Sporting activities provide a good way for students to clear their heads, thus improving their ability to focus on their studies.

Better Physical Health for Students

Sporting activities will often involve students pushing their bodies to certain limits physically and often burning calories in the process. A student’s health is improved in the process since there will be less risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Good Platform to Make Friends

When participating in sports, students tend to meet a lot of other students who share their interests. Teammates can turn into friends, and having more friends in college has its benefits to one’s social life. Friends can be helpful in certain situations in college, and even Students can also make good connections, which will benefit them in the future.

Development of Essential Skills and Values

Students need some core values in life, aside from the information they are provided in school. In sports, one gets to learn some of these values, such as teamwork, accepting losses, leadership, and even respect. These are values that shape one for the future.

Just like when selecting an , one needs to be aware of the pros and cons. Some of the Cons of sports in college Include;


Some students who participate in sports while in college often have to deal with exhaustion.

It’s common in cases where students overwork themselves in sports and become too tired and less productive in their academics. In such a case, one’s grades might falter as a result. Furthermore, students can burn out when their course is too demanding, and they still participate actively in sports. It might even affect them emotionally.


Students who participate in collegiate sports might be subject to stereotypes. For one, a student might be stereotyped by the assumption that their athleticism is more important than their education. What more, college athletes often intimidate non-athletes, even unintentionally, and it’s easy to be labeled a ‘jock’ without people getting to know the student.

Takes Time Away From Learning

In college, it is sometimes challenging to manage time because of the different aspects of a typical student’s life. Being an active student in sports provides further complications in terms of time. In sports, especially at the varsity level, students have to spend a lot of time training and going for practice.

These students will also spend some time traveling during contests, which will take up some time, sometimes days, depending on the destination. So, one might experience difficulty balancing the two, especially when the sports are too demanding. Thus, a student might find themselves having less time to study, which can negatively affect their performance.

Performance Enhancing Drugs

Sports create an alternative way of blowing off steam, thereby keeping a significant number of students from drugs. But sometimes it is a gateway to drugs when students playing at a competitive level get introduced to performance-enhancing drugs.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, being active in sports is quite beneficial for students. However, it depends on how students view games, either as a hobby or as a pro athlete career path. Varsity sports are way more demanding than intermural or club sports but mostly rewarding when students go pro. And students, therefore, need to choose the sports to participate in according to their objectives in life.

Author bio:

Jennifer Walter is a psychology professor, an independent researcher, writer, and contributor. He is the guru to hundreds of students, the author of hundreds of analysis studies, and the voice behind most liked articles on content creation and strategy at .

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