Handling homework as a hawk

Jill Morton, Staff Writer

Everyone knows college is a very busy time. We all have class and homework, not to mention all of our other activities as well. Some people are in band, some have jobs, some of us write for the school newspaper. It can be difficult to keep track of everything we have to do every day. Likewise, this is true for student athletes.

Student athletes have a lot of demands on their schedule day-to-day. Along with class, we also have to schedule our day around our practices and all the traveling we do. Luckily, professors work with us when we have to be gone for away games. Overall, though, we just need to be good at time management to deal with both class and our sport.

For example, here is a day in the life of a women’s basketball player. We wake up, sometimes as early as 6:30 a.m. depending on whether we have a morning lift or shooting practice. Then we have to go straight to class. After our morning classes we have a practice slot right in the middle of the day from noon to 3:00 p.m. Afterwards, some of us have evening classes that we often have to go to without even having time to shower. Sometime during that day, we have to do our homework, make ourselves dinner, get in extra shooting on our own and work with the athletic trainers, physical therapists and so on.

Traveling can also be a struggle. Sometimes we can be gone for days or even weeks at a time during the school year. One time last year, we were gone for two weeks straight. This makes it very hard on our studies. We often have to do our homework on the bus or the plane while we travel. Sometimes when we’re gone for longer periods at a time, the coaches will have to proctor tests for us. During the two week long trip last year, we had mandatory study table hours at our hotel as a way to keep on track in school.

As student athletes, we do have some nice perks. One plus is the athlete study center in the Hyslop. It’s dedicated specifically to athletes only for studying. There are computers and printers available for us to use. It’s also nice for us because it’s a good incentive to work hard while we’re there because the supervisors don’t allow us to be on our phone, watch Netflix or any other shenanigans. Thus leaving no other options except to work on homework. I think this can be a helpful tool for new students to utilize to adapt to the new workload along with the busy sports schedule. 

Another perk for athletes is that we have a nice break from school work every day. Bailey Strand, a women’s basketball player, said that playing basketball and shooting can be a nice break in the midst of a long study session.

Also, when school is difficult and stressful, as athletes, we have a three hour time slot every day dedicated to something we are passionate about so we can easily give our mind a break from the strenuous school day.

One important study tip I’ve learned has been to learn how to maximize my time. When you only have an hour of free time throughout your day, you really need to make sure you’re working ahead. Nap time becomes a thing of the past.

Strand said that an important thing she has learned has been to learn when to say no. She can’t do everything and after realizing what to prioritize, she’s had more success. Being an athlete is a great opportunity, just as long as there’s good time management in our lives.

Jill Morton is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at  [email protected]