Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor
As part of an ongoing initiative on campus, six Trojan athletes sat down with students in Webb Tower on Wednesday night to share what it's really like to be a student-athlete at USC. Faculty master Tim Biblarz has been hosting monthly events with guest speakers in hopes of shedding light on different aspects of the USC community with freshmen.
The panel was made up of junior volleyball player Alexis Olgard, junior soccer player Autumn Altamirano, senior women's basketball player Christina Marinacci, football players Dion Bailey and Marqise Lee, and junior baseball player Kevin Swick.
The athletes introduced themselves, talked about their decisions to come to USC, and from there on out students in the audience had the opportunity to host a Q&A. They were able to share many of the unknown realities of what being a college athlete entails, like the necessity for efficient time management skills, their fairly limited social lives, and daily sacrifices they make as a part of a team.
Each athlete shared their favorite moment as a Trojan in their respective sports including USC baseball's victory over UCLA at Dodger Stadium last year (Swick's favorite) and the football team's victory in South Bend two
seasons ago (Lee's favorite). The student-athletes compared and contrasted experiences in classroom settings,dealing with professors and tutors, balancing homework on road trips, and reminded the student audience that being an athlete at USC means being under constant scrutiny.
"You have to remember that just as much as you want to be in our shoes, we want to be in yours," said Bailey. His fellow athletes echoed an "amen" in agreement.
"I love playing here and being a student here. I've always wanted to go to USC. But I think there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that most people don't realize we have to deal with as student-athletes. You see the glory but there's more to it," said Swick.
For the audience, it was a great opportunity to see some of the school's most accomplished athletes on a more normal level. A reminder that Christina Marinacci and Marqise Lee are, at the end of the day, just college students too.