By: Devan Paleschic
Finding time to do school work is hard enough when you are a full-time student trying to balance school along with a social life, but many students have it even harder than that. There are many students in college that are also putting sports into that balancing act. Maintaining a balance between sports and school takes a lot of determination and hard work, but there are tips and techniques to help students manage their time while juggling both.
The most important rule to remember when it comes to balancing academics and athletics is that no matter what, your schoolwork comes first. College teams require students to maintain a certain GPA and take so many credits per semester in order to be eligible to play for the team.
Tess Elder, a basketball player for Cumberland, explains how important it is to stay focused on school, “I am required to keep my GPA above a 2.0 and have to take 12 credits a semester. I make sure I schedule my classes in the morning so they don’t conflict with practice or games”.
One major tip that will aid students in balancing school and sports is to make sure they have good time management. Finish your assignments as soon as possible. If you have the chance between school and practice to get some work done, use every minute possible to make at least some sort of progress on your work. Don’t wait until the last minute to get started on your assignments.
Kirsten Fuller, a sophomore, ran track and field for Slipper Rock University her freshman year. In order for her to remain eligible for the team she had to keep at least a 3.0 GPA. She was required to do a minimum of six hours in a study hall a week, but she also set aside her own time each week to make sure that she got her homework done.
Being organized is another great way to keep you balanced and goes hand in hand with your time management. Write down assignments and your practice and game schedule. Writing down what you have to do or making a list helps you to visualize what your priorities are for the week. Keeping your schoolwork organized is also important. When you are traveling around with the team and taking work with you, make sure you have folders and other supplies that help you keep your work organized so that you do not lose it.
Set up an area that can become your designated area to study. Having a space where you can seclude yourself from any outside distractions will help you get your work done. Pick an area that is quiet and somewhere you will be comfortable. As hard as it may be, turn off any type of social media. Put your phone somewhere you will not see it. If there isn’t a place you can find at home where you can study with no distractions, set aside time where you can stay in the library at school.
Keeping healthy is another important thing you have to stay focused on in order to maintain a balance between sports and school. Often times students get so overwhelmed with schoolwork and practice, they forget to set aside time for themselves. Make time to be able to eat nutritious meals every day. Also, make sure that you are giving yourself ample time to sleep. Without healthy meals and enough sleep your body will burn itself out. Keeping a healthy diet and making sure your body stays charged helps to keep you focused in class and while doing your schoolwork.
“Keeping focused on school is important, but it is also just as important to stay focused on your own personal health,” says Kirsten Fuller, “It is much easier to balance your school work and sports when you are happy and healthy.”
Balancing academics with athletics can be overwhelming at times, but if you keep these tips in mind and put them into effect you may find it easier to keep a balance between the two.