Maintaining good academic performance while being a student-athlete can be challenging. Each student-athlete uses their own method of managing everything on their plate. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.
Tests, dating, finances, academics and competing at a collegiate level athletically are thoughts college athletes experience throughout their time in college.
Not only does coursework require more dedication in college than they were used to in high school, athletes also need to keep up athletically to stay competitive for their spot on the roster at a higher level.
The average NCAA athlete spends up to 40 hours per week on their sport. This is very similar to the hours a full-time job demands; however, college athletes aren’t getting paid hourly, so they also have to worry about how they are going to survive financially without a job.
According to The Jed Foundation, 80% of college students already feel overwhelmed without striving to make personal bests or beat out their competition for a starting position on the team.
“I think one of the most difficult things about being a student-athlete is balancing your life,” said swimmer Mckenzie Chesler, a junior exercise science major from Highland. “In a day, [athletic training] could be somewhere between 2-4 hours, while homework and studying time can vary a lot from week to week, but on average I probably spend 4-6 hours every week, or around 1 hour a day.”
As Chesler pushes to finish out her time at Dixie State University in the next couple of years, she said she has learned what has worked for her and stuck with it.
“I have found that in order to achieve more balance in your life, it is vital to make a plan,” Chesler said. “Spend time mapping out your week so that you know when and what is happening throughout each day. Personally, doing these things has helped me stay on top of things and lower my stress levels.”
Since athletes are faced with a whole new arena of stressors on top of what college students normally face, it is important for them to know how to reduce their stress levels to keep an even mind.
“If I get good grades in the classroom, I’ve noticed it helps me do better on the court as well,” said Keslee Stevenson, a senior exercise science major from Willard. “My mind is clearer, and I can have better focus on what I need to do.”
Stevenson said she has always thought it was important to get good grades, but she had to learn the most efficient way for her to do this.
“Coming in my freshman year, I’d stay up all night studying,” Stevenson said. “I basically had no social life.”
Both Stevenson and Chesler said they look forward and hope for these habits to help them once their collegiate days are finished.
“Getting good grades prepares you for the future,” Stevenson said. “Hard work, time management and studying are all applicable qualities I can take out into the real world.”
Chesler said she had similar thoughts to Stevenson, as she too has found a way to translate her studying habits into a tool she can use post-college.
“Managing your time in a way that can fulfill your priorities will not only help you to succeed, but also make it easier to enjoy the different things going on in your life,” Chesler said.
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