College can be challenging for any student. Student athletes have a harder time because they have to work around the schedule of the team while taking the same classes that other students take. Being able to balance the two is very hard but at the same time very rewarding. To be able to balance the two, you need great time management skills as well as a great work ethic.
Time management is one of the most important things that you can master while being a student athlete. Great time management is very hard to acomplish because of the difference between a high school schedule and a college schedule. In high school, you have class in the day and then practice after school. Most of the classes in high school you don't have to study too hard for which frees up most of your after school time to train more. Being a student athlete in college, you have to wake up early and go through many hours of film and workouts which can become exhausting. Then, you have to go to class and actually pay attention because the classes are much more difficult and require closer attention and better notes. Once you are done with class you usually will go back and study for another few hours to get ready for the next day. This schedule can be very hard to balance starting out all while still getting used to being in a new environment. A few tips to help with time management could include:
- Writing your class schedule and assignments in a notebook planner.
- Write down when you are going to study and when your tests are for your classes.
- Map out where all of your classes are and schedule to eat somewhere along the way.
- If you have free time during the day, do something productive for your class so you can relax at night.
If you schedule out everything important for the team and school that you need to do on a given day and actively study that schedule, then good time management is formed into a habit for you. The hardest part is making this schedule work for you without it being too big of an inconvience to your social, personal, and student-athlete life.
Social life is very important for having a good time in college. If you are there and only thinking about your respective sport 24/7, then you can easily become overwhelmed with work. There is a strict schedule that you have to stick to everyday, but you can also schedule times for hanging out with friends and teammates. If feel as though you are not having a good time as a student, then the odds are that will affect how you feel as an athlete. Meet people outside of the team and get to know them. This will help you feel more like a student and not strictly an athlete. This could also be beneficial after college as well because if you become friends with other students, then you will have their friendship to lean on for possible career opportunities.
Even though you are apart of a team at the college level, you are still a student at the end of the day. If you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing in the classroom, then you could end up failing a class and will be behind. It is important to stay on top of the academics because this is what's going to set you up for the rest of your life and if you don't take advantage of that, then you could be in a bad position. When you are doing well in class then you feel good about yourself. This good mood will carry on into the sport that you play and will make everything more enjoyable. When you can excell at academics as well as sports, then you will have a great time at college while being apart of something that is bigger than yourself.
College demands a lot of things out of the students. It demands time for studying, going to class, and meetings with professors and friends. This on top of being a student athlete can become very overwhelming. If you play your cards right and hold yourself accountable, you will make many friends and have a great time in college. Don't let the fact that you play a sport for a college get in the way of your education. Balance both and you will no doubt be a successful student athlete.