SHS grad finds balance as IU Division I student-athlete

SHS grad finds balance as IU Division I student-athlete
Posted on 03/03/2018

One year ago, Emma Waskom never dreamed she would start her freshman year at Indiana University on the women’s rowing team.

“A year ago I never would have dreamed that I am doing what I am doing now, but I am thankful each day that I made the decision to come to Indiana University and be part of the rowing team,” said the Scottsburg High School graduate.

While at SHS, Waskom focused on playing volleyball at the collegiate level. She had a sports recruiting profile online that featured her volleyball statistics and her skills. She hoped her profile would attract the interest of college volleyball coach. Instead, it caught the attention of the IU women’s rowing team coaching staff. In May 2017, Waskom signed her letter of intent to join the IU women’s rowing team.

“For anyone wanting or thinking about playing a sport in college, I would say do it. The worst thing that can happen is you don't like it, and you have to quit. At least then you can say you tried it. Even if it is a completely new sport that you have never done before. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there, and who knows you just might end up loving it,” Waskom said.

At IU Bloomington, Waskom quickly learned the challenge of being a Division I student-athlete.

“Studying at IU was very similar to what I expected. I knew everything would be harder than what it was in high school, but I underestimated the challenge of balancing my time between school and rowing. That has definitely been the hardest part,” said Waskom, who is a biology major.

Waskom’s day starts at 6 a.m. as she practices Monday through Saturday with the women’s rowing team. Two days each week, she has weightlifting in the gym as part of her regimen with the team. She practices on indoor rowing machines to improve her scores to prepare her for the rowing season.

“The best part about the rowing team is the people. I have been put through some of the hardest workouts of my life within these last few months, but they are the ones who help get me through,” Waskom said.

Because proper nutrition is equally important as conditioning and practicing, IU provides a specific dining cafeteria for its 650 students who participate in IU’s 24 varsity sports. There, Waskom can receive the fuel she needs for her body as a Division I athlete.

“I can't help but love the special cafeteria over at Memorial Stadium too,” Waskom said. “Dining hall food gets old very quick, and you definitely can't find steak or shrimp in any dining hall on campus!”

Through it all, Waskom said SHS helped her prepare her for the academic side of her life as a Division I student-athlete at IU. Because she took college credit classes while at SHS,

Waskom does not feel the pressure of figuring out exactly what she wants to do upon college graduation.

“Going to SHS most definitely helped prepare me for college. Most of my classes have been similar to the dual credit classes I took were like. Also, since I am not sure exactly what I want to do yet, bringing in so many credits has given me quite a bit of breathing room to not stress about figuring that out. I am way ahead for most freshmen are at this point, so that is a major relief,” Waskom said.

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