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Balancing Act

"Every student-athlete has the invariable task to study and compete, it's like having two daytime jobs."

Dripping sweat from practice, I run to try and catch the bus because if I don’t I will be late to class. People are staring at me, probably wondering if I even showered. I am also starving because there was no time to get food. When is the next time I can eat? I have no idea. Happy Wednesday.

Everyone tells you that college is all about finding balance. What they don’t tell you is that it is nearly impossible! I am in my fifth year as a student-athlete and I still haven’t mastered the art of balancing athletics, academics and a social life. Most days I feel like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything I need to. When you are in season, traveling most weekends, and have limited days off, balancing everything can get tough. There is a lot of doing homework on the bus or plane. When all you want to do is hangout with your team and have fun – you have to study in the hotel room. When all you want to do is sleep – you have to write a paper. Most of the time it can be really difficult to stay motivated. When you have practice in the morning and class all day long, all you want to do is relax at night…but no sorry you can’t, you have to do homework… AND get to bed at a decent time to assure that you get enough sleep for practice the following morning.

It sounds impossible, doesn’t it? At times it can be, but don’t worry, I do have some advice for you. The best part about being put under this strenuous daily schedule is the time management skills you gain. I know, it sounds cliché… everyone tells you before college that it’s all about time management. It isn’t as easy as they make it sound though! It isn’t something you figure out by the end of freshman year, it takes a lot of time and experience. What’s great about being a student athlete is that you don’t really have a choice. You have limited time to accomplish everything, so there really is no choice of when you should do your work. Yes, some people choose not to and where do they end up? On the sidelines because they’re on academic probation. Don’t be that person. Making the most of the time you have is the key. Learning to be productive will ultimately allow you to carve out time for yourself.

That is athletics and academics… what about a social life? Does it really even exist? It is definitely challenging to find time to do things that normal college students do – hang with friends, go to the movies, go to a party, and even just go out to dinner. Most of the time I am too tired to even leave my suite! Adding in social experiences to a jam-packed schedule can be hard but it is worth it. Don't forget to relax and let loose when you can, even if it is rare. Remember you are only a college student once; you don’t want to regret that you didn’t experience enough. When your time competing is over, what you have left is your education and the memories you’ve made. Make the best of it and remember to ENJOY the experience.

If you follow this simple motto I promise you will succeed:

Always go to class, finish your homework, finish your homework for next week…. and then you can watch Netflix.

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