My life as a student athlete is a constant juggling act. 30+ hours per week: team lifts in the gym, rigging up boats and sailing on Mystic Lake, weekly team meetings—it’s the equivalent commitment of a full time job.
Time management in college—so I’ve come to realize—is scrapping your high school schedule *shocker: not all college classes fall into your standard 8 am-3 pm school day*, searching for a while freshman year as you figure out when to do your work, and then finding your footing enough to run around between classes, practice, library, gym, and dorm room.
But, no matter how much of a struggle it may seem, I couldn’t imagine my college experience without it.
There have been days where the last thing I want to do is go to the gym, then straight to class, then to lunch, and finally to practice. Yet during the season, I’ve learned that breakfast is also a time to have my computer open to read tomorrow’s art history required readings or a few minutes to study that chemistry topic from yesterday. Lunch can be a small break just to take a deep breath, catch up with a friend, and savor my burrito bowl. Although academics will undoubtedly always come first before athletics, have no fear—it is completely possible to succeed at both.
As a tour guide and also a varsity athlete (among many other activities), the most frequent question I receive is “How do you do it?” aka “How do you handle the rigorous Tufts curriculum and a varsity sport?”
In short: it just takes planning. Lots of lists, planner events, and ability to prioritize. As a Tufts student, I also have taken advantage of the ARC’s Time Management and Study Tutor Program. Meeting with a graduate student once a week, I go over my schedule, exam dates (and grades…), and every worry related to life as I know it. Although it is possible to plan on my own, it has been extremely comforting to have another supporter waiting for me when I come off the water.
Transitioning from off-season to in-season these past few weeks has made me realize that it’s often easier to motivate myself when I know I have two choices: do the work now or don’t finish it. There’s no “doing it later” since “later” means during practice or “doing it tomorrow” since doing it tomorrow means giving up something else important.
I have no time to procrastinate—only time to do.
Being a student athlete at the collegiate level can be daunting, especially at a school like Tufts.
When I’m feeling stressed, I remind myself of the joy I get from being in a boat every afternoon and to take a deep breath. There will be time to get everything done. Being a student athlete is far from impossible.