Being a student-athlete isn’t always the easiest. Of course, it has its perks like automatically knowing you have a set of friends that will be stuck with you for the next four years. Most of the time, though, it’s a struggle. Trying to find your balance between sports, school, relationships and finding anytime just to relax—it can be difficult and stressful.
Let’s start off with how little time we have. In the mornings, I’m up before the sun for 6 a.m. conditioning. If I’m lucky, I’ve got time for a shower and breakfast before I go to class. Then as soon as class is over for the day, I’ve got practice. Then I rush back to the cafeteria just to get the scraps on the bottom of the dishes. After that, it’s time to do homework. Finally, once the day is done, if I’m feeling rebellious, I might stay up a little late (late as in past 9 p.m.) to watch some TV. Usually, though, I’m in bed before my grandma so that I can do it all over again the next day. Also, if you’re one of those people who complains about not having any time, and you’re not an athlete or you don’t work, I kind of hate you.
Next comes academics. Time management is huge because honestly, after my long day, I don’t always want to come back and do work. I mean, who really wants to do homework anyways? It’s even worse when your team goes away for events. People tell me how lucky I am I get to miss school a lot, but they don’t realize the tornado of anxiety I have inside of me on that bus ride home thinking of all of the missed assignments, plus the other work that I’m going to have to do as soon as I get back.
I live for the weekends, though, unless we are gone for a tournament. While some people look forward to the weekends as a time to go out and have fun, I look forward to the fact that I can sleep in and watch TV for however long I want. I also use the weekends to hang out with my friends. Even when you have time off, though, you’re just constantly thinking about the struggle that awaits you early Monday morning.
In the end, though, I wouldn’t trade this not-so-typical college lifestyle for anything else. It has taught me how to deal with pressure from not just myself, but from school, parents, the team and my coaches. I know how to be a team player, which will be helpful when I get out into the real world and am in a work environment. I will always cherish the memories I’ve made while being a student athlete. I’ve learned so many things that I can apply to my daily life, and it’s all thanks to sports.