“NARP” is a slang term for “non-athletic regular person,” or as various fall senior athletes call it, that final stage of a college athletic career where they no longer have any ties or conflicts with the sport they spent the last four years of their life playing. It’s a time when they get to sit back, enjoy the spring, final semester of Lehigh and take advantage of the opportunities they may not have had the chance to enjoy during their athletic season.
Below are various senior athletes who reflect on the last four years of their college athletic careers and explain the pros and cons of transferring from a fall Division I athlete to, what the rest of Lehigh’s student body may describe as a “NARP.”
Alex Beatson, field hockey midfielder: “This spring has been very relaxing in terms of being done with field hockey. I have so much free time now. It’s different having to schedule in when you’re going to work out now, since I used to be told what to do and when to do it. I would say the best part about being done with field hockey is being able to do whatever I want with my afternoons and weekends, but the worst part is not hanging out with my team every day. They really are like family to me.”
Brian Vail, men’s soccer midfielder/defender: “To me, the best part about retiring from soccer is the free time that I have to pursue other interests. I’ve been able to get into random hobbies. I loved every day of the last four years on the soccer team, but I honestly love every second of this new chapter in my life as well.”
Katie Centeno, women’s soccer midfielder: “I think the best thing about being done with soccer is having free time and being able to study, workout, and just relax on your own schedule. Also not having 6 a.m. workouts and lifts is pretty amazing. But the worst part about being done is definitely not seeing the team every day and having those few hours to totally forget about anything else happening in your life and just being with your best friends.”
Lindsey Schott, field hockey forward: “It’s been nice this spring having all the time to actually do what I want. I have so much more control over my studying time, workouts, even cooking meals. It’s just a completely different world. The worst part of it though is not spending all the time with my teammates. We were a very close team, so I definitely miss all the girls. I do miss playing, but I really enjoy having more control over my life now, being a student athlete is a full time job.”
Ben Davis, men’s soccer defender: “Having soccer everyday provided structure to my daily life and helped me to plan my days and school work. However, I have had a lot more free time this spring I’ve actually been able to participate in activities offered by Lehigh and clubs that happen at or later than 4 p.m. which is nice.”
Stefan Sansone, football wide receiver: “Life without football is definitely different and has its pros and cons. Not playing the sport you’ve played all your life anymore is tough but something I’m starting to get used to. Not being around the guys in the gym or on the field is probably the toughest part. Being in that environment is what makes football great. A good part about being done is having more of a social life and having the free time. I can focus a lot more on my school work and not be so worried about balancing school and football.”
Ryan Bertrando, men’s soccer midfielder: “By far the best part about being done is just relaxing and enjoying my final semester at Lehigh. It definitely is difficult not seeing my teammates every day, but our team is still close and we see each other often. It’s nice getting to focus on other thing at Lehigh besides soccer. I can finally do what I want when I want with no athletic conflicts.”
While transforming from a four-year college athlete to a “NARP,” has its difficulties, overall student athletes find the change relieving, for they are able to control what they want when they want during their final days at Lehigh, which will ultimately prepare them for the real world outside of college.