Why dodgeball made me a better student

Photo by Ben Keyserling

I’m not going to lie; Tech can be pretty big diva when it comes to hogging the spotlight of my daily schedule. Amidst all the impossible deadlines and life-shattering all-nighters that I have experienced, it’s hard to find time for much else. I don’t have the time to commit to any hardcore clubs, and I don’t have the time (or the cash) to go Greek. But in spite of it all, I have managed to find something that miraculously does not take up much time, does not cost any money and allows me to interact with great people and have great times; that something is intramurals.

My first intramural team was back in good old Smith dorm, freshman year. Sport? Outdoor soccer. I was a scared little freshie, but I signed up because screw fear. As a result, I got to play the sport I loved with a great group of guys, and it did not hurt my grades at all. If anything, it was good for stress relief, which is a plus if you plan on living past 50.

I have become a better athlete and a more culturally knowledgeable person.

But I did not stop with soccer. When the spring intramural season came along, I threw caution to the wind and registered for dodgeball. I kid you not, that sport is like the collegiate Hunger Games. You’ve got your athletically trained frat teams, your slightly-weaker-yet-still-capable Housing teams and, lastly, your District-12-no-one-really-expects-much-out-of-you-but-you-still-might-win-it-all independent teams. The greatest people you will ever meet, and the worst (looking at you, FIJI). If your reflexes aren’t fast enough and your aim isn’t spot-on, you are basically dead the moment that starting buzzer sounds. It’s also one of the best experiences I’ve had at Tech, and I look forward to repeating the process each year.

The thing about intramurals is that they really allow you to experience a whole new side of college, especially one as culturally diverse as Tech. Sure, a top-rate education is important, but so is being able to chuck a plastic ball at someone who was born on the other side of the globe, or run a wall-pass with someone who grew up right here in Atlanta. My experience with intramurals has introduced me in the easiest way to people that I would have never interacted with otherwise, and I have become a better athlete and more culturally knowledgeable person as a result.

…intramurals are an easy way to get in touch with the pulse of this school

In a world where campus-funded events tend to be less than phenomenal and SGA is just kind of annoying sometimes, intramurals are an easy way to get in touch with the pulse of this school. College will not last forever, so I encourage people to take advantage of these opportunities while they are so easy to experience. I’m going to be realistic, there is a chance that intramurals are not for everyone, and some of you will not exactly have the time of your lives. But in my opinion, there is an even greater chance that intramurals will surprise you; the sporting spirit is very contagious, and thankfully so.

Also, you may get to meet Will Ferrell on the basketball court, because apparently that’s a thing that happens now.