A day in the life of a Brandeis athlete: Andrea Bolduc ’21

September 20, 2019

This new column will highlight a different student-athlete each week, striving to unearth what the hectic life of a Brandeis athlete entails. With this in mind, such a collection of stories will serve as a testament to the hard work, passion and resilience that athletes at Brandeis specifically embody, hopefully working to bridge the gap between student-athletes and the rest of the Brandeisian community.

It is early on a Monday morning, around 7 a.m., as Andrea Bolduc ’21 wakes slightly earlier than usual to lace up her running shoes and head out to complete her first workout of the day. A fast-paced five mile spurt along the Charles River will do, before stretching at the bottom of the Gosman stairs with the accompaniment of NPR morning radio in the background, and finally a quick locker room shower.

With a Clif Bar in hand, Buldoc is on to the other side of South Street, where her French class, the Art of Composition, awaits at the top of the Rabb Steps—which is a hike even for runners. The day continues with more classes for her politics major, undergraduate department representative duties and taking care of homework assignments in between these obligations. 

By now, her second run of the day is due, with the same ritual following: run, stretch, shower, snack, class. When dinner arrives, it is social hour, as the cross country and track and field teams sit together in the lower part of Sherman. They occupy the dining hall’s longest table to ensure that there is room for everyone to eat, relax and enjoy the company of what is possibly most salient to the student-athlete experience: engaging with teammates. The day concludes with more homework, as it seems to never end, but a prompt bedtime follows, as tomorrow morning’s run looms to wake Bolduc up the next day.

While this might sound overwhelming to some, such opportunities are exactly what Bolduc embraces on a daily basis. “I know my education is most important, but I also want to show up for myself and show up for the people I am now leading,” she said. This combination of factors, being able to take pride in one’s education while simultaneously competing at the highest of levels in athletics, is what she sees as the greatest thing about being at Brandeis. 

Maintaining such a balance is noticeably difficult, but Bolduc’s approach eases this marriage. She finds that being a student and an athlete do not simply coexist but rather serve as complementary elements that strengthen the deep commitment that both roles require. Whether she is in class, running or spending time with friends and teammates, Bolduc dedicates 100 percent of her attention to being in the present, saying “What is stressful is the in-between. But, once you are there, focusing all of your mental energy into the thing that is in front of you, you are able to just accomplish one thing at a time.”

Going on her third year here at Brandeis, Bolduc has grown to find a deep appreciation for everything she does as a student-athlete, commenting that, “I think about why I came to Brandeis  in the first place and just try to pursue that to the fullest. There is something about the people here. We aren’t afraid to try something new or build something from the ground up.” This fire, manifested by both students and student-athletes alike, personifies what it means to be Brandeisian: doing what you do and giving it all you got.

Before each race, as the team gathers near the start line, Bolduc reminds her teammates, “It’s a great day to have a great day.” It is with that mentality that student-athletes attack each and every day here at Brandeis, facing challenges and finding ways to lead everyone to success. What is essential is simply to keep running one’s course, as student-athletes like Bolduc strive to find that happy medium between competition, academia and most importantly, being oneself.

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