Saints’ Oslin Leaves Mark Through Extracurricular Activities
Andrew Oslin finished 55th at the 2019 GNAC Cross Country Championships in a time of 27:05.50.
Andrew Oslin finished 55th at the 2019 GNAC Cross Country Championships in a time of 27:05.50.

Monday, February 8, 2021
by Kaho Akau, GNAC Media Relations Assistant

LACEY, Wash. – Whoever said student-athletes don’t have time for extracurricular activities has probably never met Andrew Oslin.

A junior on the Saint Martin’s cross country and track and field teams, the Edgewood, Washington, native knew when he first set foot on campus that he would be set up for success.

Oslin was looking for a small, peaceful college campus. Somewhere where he could get to know his professors instead of just being a number on a roster. Somewhere where he could be mentored by his coaches and teammates. Somewhere where he could leave his footprint and impact the lives of the people around him.

Saint Martin’s was that somewhere.

After meeting his future cross country and track and field coaches, Oslin felt that he could contribute to both teams. But what attracted him to Saint Martin’s like a moth to a flame were the countless opportunities for leadership, club involvement, community service and campus events.

“For me, Saint Martin’s is a bit of a diamond in the rough,” Oslin said. “I see it as a place to learn and challenge myself in multiple ways while getting to spend time with friends and getting to know my professors more meaningfully than if I were on a campus with tens of thousands of people.”

Most student-athletes get extended breaks when their seasons come to an end. The same can’t be said for Oslin and a handful of other cross country and distance runners.

Oslin competes in cross country in the fall, indoor track and field in the winter and outdoor track and field in the spring. He only gets a couple of weeks off to rest between seasons. Then it’s right back to work.

Being a student-athlete year-round is exhausting, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.

“It can be a challenge, but I’m used to it and I like the consistency,” Oslin said. “The travel aspect is a lot too, but those are the best parts of being on a college team.”

Oslin likes the comfort of having a loaded schedule. He likes hustling from one thing to another. He likes being busy.

As if being a year-round student-athlete wasn’t keeping him busy enough, Oslin wanted to do more to leave his mark on the athletic department, the Saint Martin’s campus and the Lacey community.

When Oslin was a sophomore, the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU), SMU’s student government, was taking applications for a new senator of athletics. He wasn’t involved in student government in high school, but he saw it as a perfect opportunity to try something new and represent his fellow student-athletes.

“It was a chance for me to understand how students can impact the campus climate and the university’s actions,” he said. “I decided to jump on the opportunity with hopes of working in the best interest of student-athletes and the rest of the student body.”

Later that same school year, Oslin joined the Saint Martin’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He already represented student-athletes through his involvement with student government, but he joined SAAC to bridge the gap and become a liaison between the two organizations.

“I want to help better our campus experience for student-athletes,” he said. “SAAC has taught me that if a group of people can get together and focus on a specific goal, we can make it happen.”

Even Oslin admits that student-athletes don’t have much time to get involved in extracurricular activities. When they do have free time, it’s spent with their teammates and not with the greater whole of the student body.

Roughly 15 percent of students at Saint Martin’s are athletes. When Oslin noticed that most teams stayed in their bubbles, his new vision was to create and maintain an inclusive and unified athletics community.

“If I have time to do something helpful, I should take it up,” he said. “Through SAAC, we can help provide a welcoming environment for athletes of different sports teams to meet each other and create an environment where all athletes are supportive of each other.”

Participating in ASSMU and SAAC is just the tip of the iceberg.

Oslin plays the clarinet for the Saint Martin’s pep band and wind ensemble and has been involved in this semester’s theatrical production.

He and his friends are also in the process of starting a disc golf club, which he funnily enough is the vice president of.

“If I manage my time well, I can do it,” Oslin said. “I didn’t take this all on at once. There has been a progression from my freshman year to now.”

A communication studies major and writing minor, Oslin is also a content creator for The Belltower, the school newspaper. During his time on staff, he has written news, opinion and feature articles and helps to run “Belltower Breakdown,” the newspaper’s podcast.

Oslin doesn’t know where his degree will take him, but creating content for The Belltower has prepared him for the communications business. Writing and speaking are two skills that any professional should have, and he believes he has the qualities that employers in the field are looking for.

“I have broad interests and I know that these are good opportunities to take part in something outside of my graduation requirements,” he said. “These activities help me to be a well-rounded person. I want to expand my interests and broaden my horizons even more.”

With so much on his plate, it’s a wonder how Oslin juggles a slew of activities with school and running.

Over the years, he has found that time management and prioritizing mean everything. As long as he takes care of assignments, athletics and self-care first, more time will open up for him to do extra activities like playing the clarinet, writing and joining various clubs and organizations.

While Oslin enjoys being busy, he also understands that it is healthy for him to give himself a break here and there. He reserves a few hours every day for things that are lower on his list of priorities such as disc golf, pingpong, hiking and hanging out with friends.

“There are days when I feel like I have no breaks. But having free time is important and anyone can benefit from taking time to just relax and do something fun,” he said.

Oslin still has time to explore possible career opportunities before his Saint Martin’s career comes to an end. And with his résumé and widespread interests, he’ll have a long list of options waiting for him to choose from.

After all, he’s a man of many talents.