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‘Scoring’ outside the playing field

Annabella Mireles
(Left to right) Strategic communications graduate assistant and former student athlete Lilliana Valdespino, UTEP cheerleader Natalie Nunez, and UTEP football player Chase Bibler.

Everyone faces the difficulty of figuring out life post-graduation, athletes are no exception. Life after graduation is always portrayed as something bleak and worrisome, but that is not always the case.  

Athletes mix the lifestyles of academics and fitness into one and sports becomes the center point of their collegiate career.  

The season of graduation brings a transitioning period for many, an era of coming to terms on what to do with yourself and your future. For athletes, some continue to pursue their athletic dreams, while others accompany new aspirations.  

UTEP student and football player Chase Bibler talks about the challenges transitioning from graduation to a career.  

“I feel like the hardest thing is probably the mindset of everything,” Bibler said. “Most of the times you hear with all athletes ‘obviously the goal is to go pro’ or to be at the next level when most of the case, only a certain fraction of these people actually make it.” 

But only so many can do so. According to Exact Sports, only 1.6 percent of football players in the NCAA go pro.  

“Obviously, I wish to be in football as long as I can but in reality, not everyone is able to compete,” Bibler says. “So, for me my goal actually is to join federal law enforcement. I have a couple of people that I know who are in DA Homeland Security, a ton of high divisions and they have been helping me with internships and resources here in El Paso to help me get to that next goal in life.”  

Strategic communications graduate assistant and former student athlete, Lilliana Valdespino talks about the challenges of changing to a career. 

 “Others want a whole different new path and I think it’s trying to not just snip away your athletic career but to take what you have learned being a student athlete and just transitioning that into the real world,” Valdespino said. 

It is no doubt that the skills obtained during college can benefit a future career. 

Another student athlete who agrees with taking what was learned and utilizing it is UTEP student and cheerleader Natalie Nuñez.  

“Some skills I picked up would be taking on that leadership role,” Nuñez said. “I know I wasn’t really a leader on the cheer team but just being a cheerleader really makes you get out there and be the leader for yourself. I was able to (take) that leadership position and transitioning it to my job.” 

Whether it is leadership, teamwork or individual growth they will take these experiences into their future careers. 

Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor and may be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Marco Hinojosa, Audience and Engagement
Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor for The Prospector. He is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring multimedia journalism with a minor in criminal justice. He plans to broaden his horizons as a journalist and work for a major broadcast company.
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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‘Scoring’ outside the playing field