The Life of a Student-Athlete: Cal Swimmer Chenoa Devine Shares Her Success Story

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Between balancing academics, a social life, and extracurricular activities, it can be extremely difficult being a student-athlete in college.  Placing 4th best in the nation’s World Championship Trials at only the age of 18, UC Berkeley student, Chenoa Devine knows a thing or two about time management skills. The swimmer sat down with us to share her experience as a freshman on the swim team and how she manages to stay on track as a student-athlete. 
 

First introduced to her by her parents at the age of four, Devine quickly fell in love with the water and took up the sport professionally. The athlete began swimming at her hometown's swimming club, Davis Arden Racing Team (DART) in Davis, California. 

 

Her success is the product of hard work and determination. Now as a college athlete, she takes pride in displaying her talents represent a school she loves.  Devine explains, “I chose Cal because I knew it was a place where I wouldn't only become a better swimmer, but a better person. The team dynamic felt so empowering that I couldn't say no.”

The girls had their first meet on Friday, October 21, 2016, against Washington State University. “It's was a great in-season meet for us, and we all love to race for the blue and gold. It's always inspiring to see my teammates crush their events," said Devine. 

 

Although the swimmer has already made great strides, she plans to focus on making the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAAs) in the spring. However,because athletes on average spend  30-40 hours a week training, getting to that next level  demands much dedication and perseverance. 

 

“Being an athlete in college is a lot harder than everyone makes it seem," Devine exclaims. “Time is stretched very thin, what with class and practice and homework/studying. It really makes you treasure the time you have off and makes you manage your time very precisely.” 

 

As challenging as things may get, being an athlete reaps benefits beyond bragging rights or incredible scholarship. According to the swimmer, "athletes have the benefit of a team that supports them unconditionally, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world."
 

While many students may be afraid to take on such responsibility, Devine exemplifies that anything is possible through much hard work. 

Check out the full interview: 

1. Can you briefly describe your background as a swimmer?

I've been swimming for 14 years, all of them spent with my hometown swimming club, Davis Arden Racing Team. My parents had me try out for the team when I was 4.

2. Why did you choose to represent Cal as a swimmer?

I chose Cal because I knew it was a place where I wouldn't only become a better swimmer, but a better person. The team dynamic felt so empowering that I couldn't say no.

3. What is it like being an athlete in college? Is it difficult to balance school, swim, & social life?

Being an athlete in college is a lot of hard work. It really makes you treasure the time you have off and makes you manage your time very precisely.

4. Do you have any personal goals you would like to achieve?

 I am focusing on making NCAAs in the spring! I trust my coaches, Teri and Ian, to take me to that next level.

5. Any additional comments or advice for other aspiring athletes?

To any aspiring athletes, I would say always keep an open mind, because you never know what opportunity will come your way next.

What are some of your experiences as a student-athlete? Let us know by commenting below. 

TEEN REPORTER | Kim Do is an avid blogger and world traveler, based in San Jose, California. The 18 year-old has a passion for both writing and conservation and is often found jotting thoughts in her notebook or volunteering at a local park. The UC Berkeley freshman documents her fun, spontaneous adventures on her blog wanderwithkim.wordpress.com, where she details her journey towards crossing the 200 items off her bucket list as well as travel destinations. In addition to writing, she enjoys hiking, playing guitar, volunteering in the community, and hopes to write for the Daily Californian.