March 26, 2013
Each week, AuburnTigers.com will take a look at a different personality from Auburn Athletics. This blog will take a look at the various perspectives of student-athletes, coaches and administrators. In this entry, senior swimmer Kyle Owens, a 10-time All-American, reflects on his time at Auburn as he gets set to swim in his final NCAA Championships this week. Enjoy his insights and join us again for another edition next week.
By Kyle Owens
"I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn..."
The Auburn Creed, with its flowery language and odd sentence structure, is mostly overlooked by incoming freshmen readying themselves for four years of countless sleep-deprived study sessions and social events. However, these words were part of the first test I ever took as a college student-athlete at Auburn.
The test wasn't your typical multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank test like in a freshman biology class. It ended up being something more, much more.
Memorizing and living by the words in the Auburn Creed is a standard procedure on the Auburn swimming and diving team. You come into the program as a freshman and learn the creed. Then you leave as a senior living by the creed.
To be successful in such a rigorous athletic program, one must discipline himself strongly, and our creed provides a path for that.
I talk about the Auburn Creed so passionately because without it, I don't think I could have juggled swimming and my biomedical sciences degree as successfully as I have in my four years being at Auburn.
The journey through my undergraduate career in the pool and in the classroom has been incredible. The atmosphere that Auburn University has provided to harbor the success of its student-athletes couldn't be any better.
The success I have had at Auburn was also met with extraordinary people and timeless memories. As a freshman, I remember calling home in September, just a month after I had stepped on campus. I told my parents that it may be hard to ever come home. I told them I had 25 new "brothers" on my team, and we have been inseparable ever since.
The term "brother" is used constantly between my teammates and me, and that's exactly how we feel about one another. If one is down, we lift him higher than they've ever been before. If one is up, we feed off of his energy to tighten our bond even greater. I will never forget the men I have been so fortunate to train and study with.
Academically, Auburn has provided a pre-med program, second to none, that has expanded my knowledge further than I thought possible. Applying and getting accepted to medical school was made very simple thanks to the countless staff members in the College of Science and Math. I couldn't be more thankful for the support I was provided with during the stressful months of studying for the MCAT, applying to schools, getting interviews and finally receiving those acceptance letters.
As I begin my journey toward becoming a physician, I will be ending my career in collegiate swimming. This week's NCAA Championships in Indianapolis will mark the last time I can race for Auburn University. The bittersweet moment will represent a celebration of all the hard work our team has done over the past seven months. With that said, we cannot wait to get to Indy and show the rest of the country what we are made of.
That first test I took freshman year gave me an understanding of what was required of me as I progressed through my undergraduate career at Auburn University. Since then, I have not once forgotten the creed and what it represents.
I believe it is because of the creed I have been successful as a student-athlete. I will always love Auburn University for what it has taught me.