Moving from preps to college a big adjustment for athletes

-A A +A
By Steve Smith

Ask anyone who’s made the transition from high school to college, and they will tell you about the necessary adjustments.


Even though creature comforts often make the trip to a dorm, some other staples of everyday living — an alarm clock, study habits, laundry duties and where to find food — make the trip, too.

Making the move from high school to college athletics entails its own set of changes and challenges. On occasion, those changes involve one’s health. Just ask Ciera Borho, who prepped at Prairie View High School and played at Weber State in Ogden, Utah.

“Things didn’t go as planned I guess you could say,” she said. “I got injured halfway through the season, so September was the last time I have played volleyball. I have a stress fracture in my back. I’ve been recovering from that. I plan to be back in time for preseason which is in August.”

Even so, Borho stuck around long enough to notice a big difference between high school and college ball.

“The biggest adjustment from high school to college athletics is the high intensity and, of course, the competition. Playing a Division 1 sport is not easy,” she said. “It’s hard being a student-athlete. There was a span in the season where we were gone for five weekends in a row. It was so hard to get and stay caught up.

“I remember two-a-days just being straight hell,” Borho added. “Then when we started traveling to places and playing, that’s when I started to appreciate it a lot more. I rarely saw playing time in preseason. But when conference started, I was in the starting lineup. I never, in a million years, would have said that I would be starting as a freshman playing (NCAA) Division I volleyball.”

Before she was hurt, Borho played in 58 sets for the Wildcats. She had 78 kills and hit .103. She had a career-high 14 kills and seven digs against the University of Northern Colorado in late September.

“This experience has been a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m so thankful that I get to be a part of this, even if I’m cheering on the sidelines due to my back injury,” Borho said.

Karissa Cardenas

Former Prairie View softball player Karissa Cardenas cracked the starting lineup at Garden City (Kan.) Community College this spring. And she also had to make an adjustment — or two. The main adjustments involved the intensity and workload of college.

“In high school, you usually do not have to miss classes for games. But in college, you miss several classes. So time management is crucial to staying on track academically,” Cardenas said. “Intensity is another huge change from high school. It is now about not only maintaining our scholarships but winning so our coaches can keep their jobs. As an athlete, I think it is always on your mind that a scholarship is earned not given; therefore, you have to play like you deserve it.”

Cardenas said making the switch to college-level athletics was hard at first.

“I remember the first day of 5 a.m. workouts thinking it was going to be  impossible to stay awake all day,” she said. “I think going into college, you do not think you will spend so much time doing softball related activities. But you figure out quickly it is a lifestyle. 

“Another factor is being away from home,” she added. “There are days your homesickness hits you, and all you can do is remember your second family is on that field with you (your team).”

Cardenas said the overall experience was better than she thought it would be. But her recruiting process will start anew.

“Being at a community college is a different experience. You still have to be recruited again by a four-year (school),” Cardenas said. “I honestly think community colleges give you the time to adjust to college athletics so you are fully prepared when you reach a four-year (program).”

Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at ssmith@metrowestnewspapers.com.