Living life as a college athlete can be pretty hectic. Needing to attend all of your classes, making time to do homework, participating in all practices and playing in each of the games are requirements that already take up a huge chunk of a student athlete’s daily routine. Add in all of the time you want to put toward spending with friends or your significant other, having personal time to yourself, getting good sleep and possibly even hold down hours at a job, and it becomes such a tight squeeze to fit everything you want and need each and every day.
It’s no surprise that with all of these responsibilities to juggle, college athletes tend to struggle with balancing their student, sport, social, love and personal lives the way they’d like to. Being an athlete in college greatly tests your time management skills, and if you struggle to make things work within your window of space, here are some tips to help you take care of business and get back to the things you love!
Use A Planner
Life as a college athlete can be chaotic when you’re trying to organize due dates for six different classes along with times for all of your practices and games in your head. Using a planner can help you visualize how your schedule will lay out!
Writing out each of your responsibilities can help you see how wide your window of time is, and from there you can plan accordingly as to how much time you’ll allocate to your study, your friends, and to yourself. Planners are also very helpful if you’re often forgetful!
Utilize Study Groups With Teammates
Chances are, if you’re a collegiate athlete, you’re very likely to have made at least one friend on the team with you.
If you want to hangout with your teammates, but you have to write out a big essay and study notes for an upcoming test, put two and two together by creating study groups with your teammates!
Life as a college athlete includes maintaining a certain grade point average in order to stay eligible to be there for your teammates on game day, so teammate study groups are great ways to push each other to succeed and to hold one another accountable. One teammate not pulling through on their end academically can bring forth punishments for the whole team, so it’s important to have each other’s back on and off the field!
Avoid Procrastinating At All Costs
The very last thing you want to do is waste your precious time putting toward the wrong things!
As I said before, life as a college athlete greatly tests your time management. Procrastinating, of course, is an example of very poor time management. Putting off essays, research assignments and test reviews can push you closer to being ineligible by piling up missing work and falling short on grade percentages.
You might highly value your time with your time with your friends, significant other, or your video games, but making less time for your school work will only put your grades and eligibility in jeopardy. Remember, you’re a student before the athlete!
Do Homework On The Team Bus
All those hours traveling too and from your games could be put to a greater use than napping or scrolling social media.
One of the smartest things you could do as a college athlete is bring some homework with you when you have a road game. I’m not talking about the entire backpack, but at least materials for one class, perhaps with some more simple assignment like reading a chapter or two from your textbook or reviewing notes from a chapter. The more you can get done during your excused absence from class, the more time you’ll free up for yourself when you get back to campus
So, why not spend some time on the team bus catching up on some homework or getting assignments out of the way?
Get The Right Amount Of Sleep
Vigorous college courses and strenuous team practices. Ah, the life as a college athlete can be so tiring.
You’re going to be working yourself to exhaustion mentally and physically as a college athlete multiple times a week. Perhaps the most important thing you can do (along with getting ALL the meals you need each day) is get a good amount of sleep each night. Being tired in class will negatively effect your focus and being fatigued at practice or before a game can take away from your performance.
Sleep tight. Study hard. Play great!
Make Time For Fun
College is all about taking care of business in the classroom, and being an athlete takes putting in work in the field, but don’t allow your life as a college athlete to be consumed by constant work!
Academic success is very important for a college athlete, but so is having fun. Of course you want to take care of all your assignments so can have all sorts of free time to yourself, but its also important not to burn yourself out. It’s OK to take mental breaks to go out to eat with your significant other or to go a game to support another team on campus with your teammates.
I don’t want to make it seem like all you can do is focus strictly on schoolwork to earn your free time, but you shouldn’t make the mistake of giving yourself too much personal time away from your notes and laptop. Find a happy medium, take breaks and enjoy everything college life has to offer for you as an athlete!
Life as a college athlete is all about balancing and managing your time wisely. Many college students, not just athletes, struggle mightily with organizing and balancing their time, but athletes have an additional demand they have to put hours toward on a daily basis, adding to their jumble of responsibilities. It makes it hard to maintain a healthy personal and social life on top of school and sport.
Thankfully, there are ways to improve time management, task organization, and balance each aspect of a college athlete’s life. By using a planner, studying with your teammates, studying on the bus, refusing to procrastinate, getting a good night’s rest and making sure you’re having fun through all of the stressful times, you’ll be well on your way to successfully balancing your life as a college athlete!