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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brenau chapter.



Sometimes I wish that I was back in high school. Okay, okay; you can save the awkward braces, the little crushes, the clicks, the drama, and the hovering parents. I just want to go back to the zero to no workload, the practices that were meant to be fun, and the need for no time management because let me tell you if you go through your college life without time management you are going to be lost. As a student, it is important to have good time management skills, but as a student athlete, it is past important. It is the golden ticket, the yellow brick road, the heart that that girl Moana needed. It is the heart of your college life, but it is the beat, the pulse of a student athlete’s. I have been a student athlete basically all my life, but I have been a college student athlete for four years, and I have learned so much about myself and the needs of this type of lifestyle that chooses you.

1. Make time to be a student.

The most important part about being a student athlete is being a student first. Being a college athlete has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it is so much fun! You bond with your teammates and all of you begin to feel like family because they get you. They know the pains and sores that make you toss and turn at night. Your coaches will arrange team bonding, but before you know it, all of you will be hanging out on your own time. Practices, team bonding, and training sessions take up a lot of time—more time than it did in high school. Being a college athlete is almost like having a job that literally runs the snot out of you and your bed begins to look way more appealing than those books sitting on your desk. It is so important to make that time to study and be a student first. Look at your schedule and notice when you have breaks. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or spending way too much time in the dining hall, slip away and get some work done. Also, make sure you use your communication skills with your coaches and professors. Let your coach know about any upcoming tests or exams. That may mean working out earlier in the day or later that night. Ensure them that you will get it done, but you are a student first. Let your professors know about any games or meets coming up so that you can get the work done ahead of time. Ensure them that the work will get done in a timely manner and that you appreciate them for understanding. You have to speak up for yourself and ask for a little help. You have to remember that when your college glory days are over, your knowledge is going to pull you all the way home to your dream career.  

2. Take time to relax!

Relaxing can be so hard. Especially when you are on the move all day long. You want to get your work done but you also have practice and a game this weekend and your friends are tripping because they say you are way too busy and your parents are begging you to take you out to dinner after the game (never ever say no to that) and it is all too much and too noisy. Sometimes you are going to have to turn down some people and use that time for yourself. Use that time to do activities that you love. It could be something as simple as walking the Brenau mile or watching one of your favorite TV shows. It is so important to give your mind a rest and to recharge yourself.  Just do not use relaxing as an excuse not to be a student. Because…uhhh… yeah, I know we all procrastinate, but relaxing is not that. It is taking time to restart your body just like when you restart your phone when it overheats. Just hold those buttons of life down and relax for a little while.

3. Know when you have bitten off more than you can chew.

Being a student athlete is fun, but it is not your whole life now is it? You have friends outside your team, clubs you want to get involved with, sororities screaming your name. It all looks so interesting and fun, and before you know it, you have signed your name on 20+ dotted lines. Now you have meetings at every second of the hour, your grades are slipping and 5 am workouts are tapping on your shoulder….still. You do not know how to balance it all, so you start to burn out. That is when you have to take it upon yourself to pull back and cut some things off like a bad habit. Sure, everything looks great and fun, but you have to know when you have bitten off more than you can chew.

These steps look so easy on paper, but it is super hard. I mean, I am still struggling with just these three things! But I have been through the rough patches and I just wanted to give you three tips on how to avoid slipping as a student athlete. Yes, high school had its time, but now you are rolling with the big kids. It is time to push up those sleeves and get to work, not only on the field, on the court, or on the track, but also in the classroom. You are a student athlete which means you are a student first!  

Good luck my friends! You can be a student and an athlete; you just have to put in more work, and I know you can do that because what is an athlete without a hard work ethic?

Junior, Mass Communication major with a concentration in Entertainment Management. Campus Corespondent and Campus Trendsetter for HC Brenau.