Time. Time is constant motion. Time is nonstop. Time is never ending. There is always more time. Yet, in the life of a NCAA student athlete there never seems to be enough of it. I blink and a week has gone by. What did I actually accomplish in that time? How did I get everything done? Did I get everything done?
The key to survival for student athletes is learning how to manage your time, because to be honest, it will always feel like there is not enough of it. You would think that it is important that we play well, train well or are super in shape, but no. That is a very important aspect of what we do in college but time management is one of the most important skills a student athlete has to learn and it is one of the hardest to achieve. Playing our sport, that’s the fun part.
So how do we do it? How do we juggle classes, practice, homework, team meetings, food, sleep and anything else that a day could consist of? The key to success is to know how to prioritize. We have to prioritize what to do first and what is most important immediately. But, we also have to know when to stop and when to focus on other things. I do this by making a lot of lists. I have notes to myself everywhere reminding me of what I need to do.
Last week, for example, I had practice everyday, three big exams, four papers, an athletic meeting, and all of my normal classes. I started the week with no idea how I was going to survive or make it through with good grades AND my sanity. But I did. How did that happen?
Over my four years at Lee University I have learned how to prioritize and put the most important things first and accept the fact that I cannot do everything. This was a very hard concept for me to accept. I like to believe I have superpowers and can accomplish anything and everything, but time will not allow that. So, instead I have to accept that everything does not have to be done right away. Some things CAN be pushed off to the next day.
We also, kind of, get over the idea of having a social life, because, again, there is not enough time in the day. That goes back to learning how to prioritize. People are important, but at this point in our lives, grades and our sports are the top priorities. Because of that, our team becomes our family and our closest friends. They are the only ones who understand what we are going through and they go through it with us. Below is just to give you the idea that we (student-athletes) do still have fun! It’s just with our teammates!
Last week I studied for my exams in order of the ones I had to take first and wrote my papers in all the spare time I could find. Normally I would hate to write half of a paper and finish it another day, but that is just how it goes in the life of a student athlete. At the end of the day, there are only 24 hours. It is definitely not easy, but in the end it is worth it.
So, if you’re a student athlete out there wondering how on earth you will get everything done… I would like to encourage you that you can do it! It is not easy, and sometimes not fun, but you can do it! Just remember to prioritize your time and take everything one step at a time. You got this!
Thanks for reading,