Julia Bryant '22, Academia and Athletics

Julia Bryant is a sophmore on the Women's Cross Country/ Track & Field team, as well as an student in the Honors Program. Originally from Long Island, Julia loves reading at the beach and spending time with her family and friends. A self proclaimed book nerd, and a lover of all things academia, she couldn't be happier to be back at Siena for the fall. Between running Division One, keeping up with academics and her love of books, she's had to learn a lot about time management and prioritizing. What better time to talk about balancing school, activties and hobbies than in the beginning of a new school year? 

Her Campus Siena: Is it really possible to balance athletics and academics and be succesful in both?

Julia Bryant: A lot of people think that student athletes have too much on their plate. That there needs to be some sacrafices made to one end or the other, that there is a dichotomy between athletic performance and academic perfomance, when really they go hand in hand. I honestly think being a student athlete is extremely beneficial to my growth as a person even beyond the classroom or the course. I've learned so many strategies to help myself prioritize and keep track of my life. I've also learned to be about what's happening in the moment, when I'm running my focus has to be there, not drifting to a test I have tomorrow or all the work I need to do tonight and vice versa. The same is true for keeping up with hobbies and social life, prioritizing my favorite things to do (like reading, socializing) over things I do to waste time (basically anything on my phone).  

HCS: Do you have a way you keep track of everything you need to do daily? If so, what?

JB: I like to use a planner for absolutely everything. Not only to keep track of my assignments, but also my practice schedule and class schedule. I also block off study hours and homework hours and most of the time I give myself designated break hours so I can take a breather during long days. By blocking off free time, it gives me motivation to get through the things I need to do and not waste time. I also use a whiteboard calendar up on my dorm wall to help me visulaize my day and my month. I can quickly glance over and see the most important things I need to do. I color code everything to help myself stay organized, separating practice/running from school and social events on my calendar, in my planner and in my phone.

HCS: Everyone always needs more sleep, how do you get everything done and still sleep a healthy amount?

JB: By scheduling out my day, most of the time I am able to get seven to eight hours of sleep. I put sleep as a priority. As a freshman, I had terrible sleeping habits and it's something I wanted to work on this year. It also helps to have a roommate on the same schedule as me, who also needs to get up earlier and go to bed earlier, we motivate each other to get ready for bed and turn the lights out. Even though I try my best to get in good sleep, I know that sometimes I just can't fit everything in or I need an extra hour or two to get work done at night or prepare for a big test and usually the sacrafice is taken to my resting hours. Sleep is something I need to be better about prioritizing and improve on, we'll see how this semester goes.

HCS: Do you enjoy being in the Honors program?

JB: I love the seminar style classes offered in the Honors program, where I get to talk to my classmates and teachers about what we are learning and hearing new perspectives. The Honors program is a lot of work, but the topics are extremely interesting and make for great discussion. I am also undecided with my major, leaning towards an English Major with a Pre-Law certification, and these classes have helped me explore what things I'm interested in and what classes I want to put in hard work and extra effort for. 

HCS: What other activities do you participate in outside of running and school?

JB: This fall I've already decided to join a few clubs, which is something I regret not doing last year. There are so many clubs that are offered and I think it's a great way to meet new people and do something that's good for building the Siena community. I also participate in the more religious aspects of Siena, I attend mass on Sundays and am hoping to get into going to Praise and Worship which is offered on Wednesdays. I went to a catholic school for high school, and keeping that connection between my day to day life and my religion really helped me turn Siena into my home away from home. 

HCS: Where is your favorite place on campus to get work done, and buckle down and concentrate?

JB: I am an avid library fan, if I'm ever gone for hours at a time my friends all know I'm holed up on the second floor in the silent areas grinding out some work. I really think that studying locations depends on the person, myself I can't do work in my room. I use my dorm as a place to relax and chill out, I don't want to associate that with school. I also like how the library helps me eliminate a lot of my distractions. 


Although Julia is only a sophmore, she has grown tremendously from where she was at last year, and learned so many valuable lessons and skills. Freshman year is all about finding yourself, and making your college experience something you're proud of and will remember for the rest of your life. Deciding now to use every day as a learning opportunity and a chance to grow will only create future sucess. Study hard, but don't forget to break hard too, and join some clubs and activities that you can enjoy and still feel productive doing! Or, use your down time at Siena to make new friends, and connect with the staff and students here. Studies and school can get difficult but there's no better combat to Sunday scaries than having a quick and fun club meeting to turn your focus off the impending return to classes. 

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