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College is hard enough as it is; class, hours of studying and homework, sleep deprivation... Adding athletics on top of that makes college 10 times harder. Being a student-athlete is difficult. Along with the hours and hours of studying we put into our major, we also have practice, early morning lifting sessions, hours of study hall, meetings upon meetings upon meetings! Finding the balance between the two is still a struggle even after enduring the journey for two years now... Let me tell you a little about myself.
I started running track my freshman year in high school. I wasn't really expecting anything to come out of it; just a kid who wanted to participate in an extracurricular activity to pass the time by. I honestly wasn't aware of where it was going to take me in the future. I didn't take it seriously at first; I just ran my races and called it a day. Before I knew it, I was winning my races! I was ecstatic about the ways things were going. My future was looking bright. Around my junior year, I was getting recruited to run collegiately. At this point in my life, I had to make a decision on whether I wanted to go any further with my career or just become a regular student in college; honestly, I didn't know anything other than the athlete life.
Fast forward through the last two years of high school to my freshman year of college... Collegiate sports are nothing like high school sports. Ask any college athlete; this is a different ballgame. I struggled to try to figure out how to balance my studies, sports, AND my social life. My first year, I had to learn that my studies and track came first. My coach always says, "You're a student first, then an athlete, then everything else." Once that was imprinted in my brain, I set a routine... Well, I didn't really have much of a choice LOL!
My day usually consisted of classes from 8:00 AM to about 12:30 PM, a small break, if any, for lunch, practice from 2:00 PM to about 5:00 PM. After practice, my schedule would vary. Sometimes I would go to study hall or have a team meeting... If I was lucky, I would have time for my social life. Once this routine was set, time management was another thing. I'll tell you, I'm still horrible at that to this day! I'm getting better though...
Coming into college, I wasn't expecting how much I had to grow up and I underestimated the amount of time management I would need. Slowly, but surely, I was able to manage my time as far as study hall and my social life would go. Being a student-athlete is hard. The best advice I can give is to manage your time well because there are so many hours in one day. It gets overwhelming sometimes but it definitely gets better.