by Mackenzie Laub
Being a college athlete is no easy task at hand. It comes with great responsibility and challenges. Trying to manage an athletic schedule, a school schedule, and a daily routine can all be very difficult. With all of the hardships, come great reward in the successes you face on and off the playing field. Here is a little insight to my typical day as a college athlete.
It can be hard to manage a tough course schedule and perform your best on the field. For me it is quite difficult some days because I am a Biology major. It is a demanding program that comes with a lot of late night studying and lots of labs. A lab can sometimes be 3 hours long. Days can feel never ending when you have multiple labs in a day.
On a typical day when we are not playing a double header, my day is pretty calm. My schedule on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are all the same. I chose to take early classes for my first year. Taking an 8am Theology class is no joke. There were many mornings where getting up was quite a challenge. After Theology I would head straight to Bio lecture. Once that was all finished I would head to go get breakfast at Zime. It was our on campus “Starbucks” that served delicious food. Sitting in Zime is where I have written a lot of papers, had many conversations with friends, and obviously consumed way too many cups of coffee. After breakfast I would head to communications which was my last class of the day. I was done by noon on these days which was very nice. This gave me time to complete assignments and homework before heading to practice.
My Tuesday/Thursday schedule was very light. I only had my Psychology lecture on a Tuesday, then on Thursday I would have my Biology lab. Having these lighter days gave me more time to do my assignments. I would also be able to sleep in on these days past 7am which I am very thankful for.
For the softball part of my day we would practice 4-5 days a week depending on when we had games. We had off every Sunday, and Mondays were our lift days. A typical practice would start at 3:00. When practice starts at 3, you need to be there by 2:30 to start setting up all of the equipment that would be needed for that specific day. A practice plan would be posted before every practice so we knew exactly what we were doing on that day. Practice would be from 3-5, but by the time everything was cleaned up and put away it would already be 5:30.
Double header game days are sometimes the longest days of them all. For me since all of my classes were in the morning I would go to all of my classes, back to my room to change, then straight to the field. For a home game that starts at 3:00 I would need to be at the field at 12:30 to set up for the day and then start a hitting warm up. Our two games would be over by 7:30 just giving me enough time to stop at the dining hall for a quick dinner before heading back to my room for the night.
Sleep is an essential for student athletes. Finding the time to sleep can be difficult with so much going on in a day. My goal was to be sleeping by 10:00 every night, but with away games and changing schedules this was not always possible.
Something that I have learned being a student athlete is to be flexible and to always expect changes. When you wake up in the morning you can be told that we will have practice, but then it rains so it switches to a lift. Schedules are constantly changing and anything can happen at any moment. This season we were supposed to have a game every Saturday of March and April. It happened to rain every single Saturday for two straight months. Our team had a lot of rescheduling and lots of Sunday games.
For my next fall semester I chose to take another set of demanding classes. I will have 2 labs as well as a research position for one of my professors. I will also be a teacher’s assistant for another class. My time management and organizational skills have significantly improved with coming to college. Something that has helped me significantly is having an agenda. Writing down what needs to be accomplished and having the feeling of crossing it off when the task is done is satisfying to me.
Being a student athlete is an amazing experience and I would not change it for the world. I have met so many wonderful people, played in amazing games, and created life long memories. Coaches have always said you need to be a student before you are an athlete. That is something that I stick to because I know that my academics are the most important part of my college career. I love being a student athlete and I would not change a single moment of my experience.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.