Within the span of one month, Cam Newton went from one of the most exhilarating jobs in the world to one of the most monotonous.
On Jan. 10 Newton was leading his Carolina Panthers in an NFC divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. The first overall selection of the 2011 NFL draft, a man who is set to make $14.6 million in 2015, took the field in front of nearly 70,000 wild fans in one of the loudest stadiums in the world.
The Panthers lost, and less than four weeks later Newton found himself in an entirely different environment. Rather than hulking professional football players and screaming fans, Newton was surrounded by college students and quiet libraries.
As he has done before, Newton has returned to Auburn to work towards finishing his degree in sociology.
And while Newton deserves a ton of credit for returning to earn his degree even though he's got enough money to last him 10 lifetimes, he didn't look exactly pleased to be back at a desk. (Hey, we've all been there.)
When you're a pro football player but you still gotta go to class pic.twitter.com/SHQ3YkzDr7
— Ryan Daly (@ryandaly23) February 6, 2015
The campus buzzed about Newton's return, and he was the subject of several selfies:
— Hannah Rainwater (@hannahliveshere) February 6, 2015
Newton unwittingly provided students motivation to go to class in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the man who led Auburn to a national championship in the 2010 season.
The only thing keeping me going this semester is that I might see Cam Newton on campus.
— Michaela Allsup (@michcomedyyy) February 8, 2015
BREAKING: a minor earthquake has struck Auburn... Wait, nevermind, that's just 25,000 students running after Cam Newton.
— Nathan Deal (@NateDawgAU) February 6, 2015
Cam Newton is on campus and I'm quarantined to my apartment bc sick. This is so unfair.....
— Meggan Queen (@misssmeggan) February 6, 2015
As we've seen in the past, students get a big kick out of interacting with Newton. Last year one courageous girl made Newton her Valentine:
A lot has changed since Newton, 25, was at Auburn last year. Newton led his Panthers through a tumultuous season that included a losing record (7-8-1) and, somewhat miraculously, a postseason birth. Newton himself fractured his back in a car accident in December but returned to lead the Panthers to a first-round playoff victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Newton is on track to graduate from Auburn in May.