LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It is amazing how time has changed my perspective of basketball. Looking back at my freshman year, it is interesting to see how far I have come.
Even though now it feels like decades ago, my freshman year was one of the most stressful years of my life. It seemed like I was a step behind in every aspect of my life.
I faced the same problems most college freshman experience being away from home. For the most part this did not bother me, but with the stress of basketball and school, it was hard not being close to my family.
On the court, everything was too fast. I went from being the tallest guy on the court to being one of many tall guys on the court. Every advantage I thought I had playing high school basketball was gone. My perceived advantages were now deficiencies in my game I needed to improve. Trying to guard guys like Chris Dowe and Vance Hall quickly showed me how much better I needed to be.
Then I struggled in the classroom. I had 8 a.m. classes every day of the week to go along with my 9 a.m. workouts. With all of the work I had to do for class, there was little chance of getting a good night's sleep. My grades suffered because I could not find the balance between school and basketball.
I found myself trying to survive the season. I often joked with teammates about wanting the season to end rather than enjoying it. For the first time in my life, the time I spent at practice was the worst part of my day.
Now as my senior season begins, things are very different. Do not get me wrong; I still cannot stand going to practice. However, knowing that my last practice is around the corner has made me a little nostalgic for the days when I would wake up for that 8 a.m. class and then go straight to the gym afterward. As awful as it may have been, I did not realize what I was a part of.
Being around 15 teammates who are going through the same things you are makes college life much easier. Many people come to college without knowing anyone, and I was lucky enough to have a team to rely on.
As I find myself getting ready for graduation and wondering what life holds for me after basketball, I have finally grasped how important basketball has been and how quickly a college career goes by. There are a lot of things I will not miss about basketball, but I can now see what I had taken for granted.
George Suggs is a senior communication major at Bellarmine, and his basketball column will appear every week on WAVE3.com.