How to balance life as a student athlete

Jared Galanti, Senior Reporter

Balancing life as a college student can be a lot to deal with. Adding sports on top of keeping grade point averages at a level where they are eligible to compete leaves some student athletes with a hectic schedule.

With practices, games, getting homework done and finding time to have a social life, student athletes have a lot on their plate with only 24 hours in a day to do all of it. 

Laynie Erickson, a sophomore digital journalism major who also plays for the volleyball team, said the best way for her to balance everything from her job to athletics and school work is to give 100% focus to whatever she is doing at that current moment.

“I think something that I’ve learned is compartmentalization,” Erickson said. “If I’m at volleyball practice I’m focusing 100% and giving 100% at volleyball practice. If I’m doing my schoolwork or in class, I’m giving my all to that subject.”

While some may not like the schedule of going from thing to thing without much free time, Erickson welcomes it as she experienced being busy in her high school days. 

“I am happy the way it is because I know for me I do such a better job at everything when I’m busy,” Erickson said. “I have always ran under a busy schedule all through high school. I did three sports, three seasons and club sports and I was always traveling. So this is the lifestyle I chose for myself.”

Macy Wilke, a sophomore who is also on the volleyball team, said balancing school work with other college aspects has been challenging, but she is thankful to have a great supporting team around her. 

“It’s hard just because of COVID and everything and it’s stressful balancing all that,” Wilke said. “But we have a really supportive team and really supportive coaches who are always there for us. And if we ever need to talk about anything they’re always easy going.” 

Peyton Vogel, a sophomore soccer player, said that for her getting homework done and playing her sport are her top priorities during soccer season before her social life. 

“Social life comes last,” Vogel said. “With classes and soccer you are still getting social interaction, but obviously balancing out a relationship or talking to your family or just talking to roommates if you’re not living with athletes comes after that because a student athlete’s life is pretty busy. But I think the easiest way to balance it out is figure out which ones the top priorities.”

Vogel said that because women’s soccer usually starts in the fall she wishes that during that time she did have a little more free time due to the lack of people she gets to interact with.

“Fall sports already come in a month before any other students, so that is a nice advantage,” Vogel said. “But we only get to meet so many people and the fall quarters and winter quarters of your freshman year I find very very important on where you plant yourself and who your friends are, it’s really hard as a student athlete coming in as a freshman.” 

Wilke said that if student athletes are struggling to balance all their work, the best advice she would give is use the resources given to you provided by the school.

“I would say that it’s definitely more common among student athletes than you think it is,” Wilke said. “And I would say to reach out to someone if you needed help because it will only make it worse if you don’t. So even if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to your coaches about it there are resources for everyone on campus and I think that is really useful. So if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to you coaches or teammates reach outside.”