Graphic by Valerie De La O.
Student athletes rarely get the best of both worlds, but Dixie State University student athletes are finding the perfect balance between academic and athletic performance.
Student athletes must register for a minimum of 12 credits of academic work and not drop below that number at any time during the semester. Athletes must be in good standing with a 2.0 GPA, and they must pass nine credits to play the following semester.
All athletes have different ways of managing being a student and an athlete at the same time.
Felicity Tarr, a junior computer information technology major from Tucson, Arizona, said it’s hard being both a student and an athlete. She said she fits all her homework and study time in her extra time after classes, practices and her job.
“I work hard [during] the weekdays, so I can have fun on the weekends,” Tarr said.
Lexy Hayes, a freshman nursing major from Goodyear, Arizona, said she knew practices were in the middle of the day, so she registered for morning classes to clear up time for homework and relaxation after practice.
She goes after practice to study for an hour in between her classes as well, she said.
Moses Medina, a junior communication major from Mesquite, Nevada, said the practices are already scheduled, and he makes sure he does not have class during or after each practice time.
Each sports team travels to other places to play other teams in the RMAC. The players leave a day or a few days before their game day to get there on time. DSU excuses the players from class if they are eligible. This excuse does not affect their grade and the players must talk to their professors for any material they may miss while away.
It’s tough to study on trips to away games because she is hanging out with her teammates who are also her friends and, so she gets distracted, Tarr said. She said she tries to stay focused on studying on bus rides.
Medina said planning and talking to professors before going on trips and being on the same page as them is how he stays on top of his work.
He said he has his own standards of what he wants to achieve in his academic career, and he wants to be proactive.
Tarr said she does the classes work even when it seems boring or not need because she knows she will have a good career at the end of it all the hard work.
“Sometimes I ask myself the same question, how do I mange [life and everything],” Tarr said. “I really try to stay focused and think about the future and if I get down, I just think about it’s all going to be worth it on the end.”
Tarr said she wants finishing school while being an athlete throughout all her years at DSU.
“It would be rewarding knowing I graduated as an athlete and did good in school,” Tarr said.
Hayes said sports is a great learning experience for her and helps her make friends and introduces her to people she can look up to.
Being an athlete comes with learning a multitude of great traits like leadership, team work and confident, Tarr said.
All the athletes said they love what they are doing even though school and their sport demands a large amount of their life and they still make time for themselves through all that they do.