The Student {athlete} Life at TBC

tbc_athletic

The chance to keep playing their favorite sport while earning a degree is the ultimate goal of many young people.

The student athlete life is exciting and fun!  There are plenty of opportunities to make friends, travel, enjoy healthy competition, and even make a name for themselves.

On the flip side, student athletes carry a heavy load.  They are responsible for their academic success while also attending practices, giving their all at games, traveling, and in some cases holding down a part time job as well!  And then there’s the little everyday life stuff like laundry, keeping your room habitable, eating, sleeping, and taking showers… balancing it all requires strategic planning and determination!

Here at TBC,  we do everything we can to help student athletes succeed in the classroom as well as on the athletic field.  One of the benefits of playing a collegiate sport at TBC is the fact that our students can get to know their teachers (not just their coaches) on a personal level.   This means that students can communicate regarding their athletic schedule and know that together with their professor, they can develop a plan to excel even with a busy athletic season.

We asked Lena (a TBC senior studying Business with an Accounting proficiency, and also a softball player) to share about her life as a student athlete and how she masters her schedule.

Q: What does your typical day look like?

Lena: So. Busy!  Depending on the semester, I could be going to class really early in the morning or maybe start the day with a workout.  I take a full load of classes, so that takes up most of my mornings and sometimes part of the afternoon.  Practices and games take up a lot of time too.  I have a part time job , but it’s flexible, so that makes it a little easier – I can work a few hours here and there in between classes or practices.  Most of the time I’m go from one thing to the next until it’s time to go to bed.

Q:  What has been the most challenging thing for you personally as a student athlete?

Lena:  Time management, hands-down.  Planning ahead and making sure I get stuff done when I have time instead of waiting until the day before it’s due.  Making sure I get the important things handled before I hang out.  You never know – you could get sick or a game could go long or who knows what.

Q:  If you could give one piece of advice to a new student athlete, what would it be?

Lena:  Get a planner.  I know it’s old-school, but it has been a lifesaver for me.  Seriously, your life gets so busy!  It’s best to just write it down right away so you don’t have to remember it all.  Because you won’t – there’s no way.  You’ll forget something.

Q: What about travel days and out-of-town games?  How does that work when you’re in class?  What if there is an exam that day?

Lena: That’s one reason why you communicate with your teacher (and use a planner!).  All of my teachers here have been willing to work around my travel days.  If there is an exam or a project is due, I can turn it in early or make it up within a certain amount of time.  They’ve always been reasonable.

Q: Do you feel like having a super busy schedule like this as a college student has been beneficial for you?

Lena: Yes.  For sure.  I know that when I graduate and college is over, real life is going to be busy too.  It will look different but I’m still going to have due dates and big projects to handle at work; stuff like that.  I sort of see it as preparing me for life in the real world.

Q: What’s it like playing a sport in Florida?

Lena: Well… not gonna lie, it’s HOT.   You have to make sure you stay hydrated all the time. On the flip side, I’m not trying to pitch with frozen fingers, so that’s a plus!  It also makes hanging out in the dugout not so bad… it’s a chance to cool off and be ready for your next turn. {By the way, Lena takes hydration seriously – she carries a gallon jug with her every day!}

Q:  If a student reads this and thinks, “Man, that’s a lot – not sure I can handle it.”  What would you say?

Lena: You can totally do it.  Just make sure you get organized and prepare mentally – and make yourself stay on track.  Get that planner{Can you tell she’s serious about the planner idea?}

So, there you have it.  It sounds like the key to all this is managing your time well.  Lena is all about using a planner, and we completely support that idea!

These days, there are so many planner options that you’re sure to find something you like.  If you’re not into physical pen-and-paper planners, look into an app for your phone.  There are plenty of options there too.  The important part is that you use it – color scheme, the layout, the style, and even how detailed it is doesn’t really matter.  If it works for you, that is all that counts.

So, here’s your action step: add “planner” to your shopping list this summer.  Leaf through the ones at Target next time you’re there.  Scroll through Amazon’s selection.  Look through the app store.  Find a free printable calendar and add it to a notebook.  Or do all of the above and figure out what suits your personality.

Once you find the planner you want, go ahead and circle August 16 – that’s New Student Orientation Day at TBC!

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