I wish I went to more games at Stanford.
It’s already week nine, and I suppose it makes sense that I’m having trouble fitting being a sports fan into my daily schedule, but even so I find my attendance record more than worrisome.
I try to go to at least one game or meet for each team, and there are a disturbing number of unchecked boxes that probably won’t get checked by the time the quarter ends. Other sporting events that I try to get to I somehow can’t make—football’s first open practice, more baseball games at Sunken Diamond, all sorts of interesting matchups between elite teams.
There’s quite a bit of irony to this because when I first applied to colleges, I really loved how Stanford’s sports teams were so good. I was very interested in how Stanford had the best athletics program in the country and I thought that Stanford’s athletic teams reflected and represented the University’s commitment to supporting every facet of student life.
All of this still holds true. Stanford is a great place in part because it has such a special athletics program, and it wouldn’t be Stanford without it. But, like I said, it’s more than a bit ironic that one of the University’s biggest draws for me is one that I don’t take advantage of nearly as often as I should.
Florida State makes all of its students, whether or not they play on varsity teams, pay a fee to the athletic department; Cal charges for student tickets to its games. This is mostly par for the course across the country. College athletics are rarely as well funded as they are here at Stanford.
I can walk into any stadium on campus by just by showing my SUID; the only price requested of me is my time. Funny enough, that resource—time—is the one I have in shortest supply. I go to games when I can, but I don’t go enough for reasons that I don’t fully understand.
This doesn’t just extend to sports—I’ve missed events by amazing musicians and world-renowned writers, some of the most brilliant people in the world. We’re very lucky to be at a school that constantly brings in the crème de la crème of our civilization to speak and to teach.
Now, I’m not saying that I, or any of you, ought to drop the commitments we’ve made in order to watch more games or go to more concerts or Q&A sessions. That would be the last thing I would ever suggest. Everyone who went to Stanford signed up for four or so years of never really having as much time as you’d like—picking and choosing what things you can do and what things you can’t.
We can’t do it all; nobody has the sort of time to do everything. It’s simply not possible. The opportunities that we’re given are not endless, but they may well extend beyond what we’d previously considered possible—and if they don’t, somebody will invent something soon that continues to push the boundaries of our imagination, in the same way that student-athletes strive to push the boundaries of what the human body can achieve.
I would argue, though, that we all should display a renewed commitment to being productive with our time—that, in short, we ought to make time for our school. There’s a lot out there that I’m sure you haven’t seen and I know I haven’t.
We all know that there’s a lot of work to do here. To hell with duck syndrome—I will freely admit that there’s a lot of work. But what I’ve found out is that, despite all my prior commitments, if I try hard enough, somehow there generally seems to be time to support the people that wake up at 5 a.m. every day to create something worthwhile.
Winston Shi, a world-renowned poet himself, wakes up at 5 a.m. everyday and climbs up to his favorite writing spot on the roof of Memorial Church to write his poems as the sun rises. Ask him to write you a sonnet at firstname.lastname@example.org.