By Fatima Magana '22
ALLIANCE, OH- Are you planning to be a student-athlete in college? Juggling schoolwork and sports throughout college can be a workload. Which is why current student-athletes share their advice on how you can balance your academic and athletic lives in college.
I decided to enter the engineering field because I saw the opportunity to set an example for many people that look like myself because there are not many African-American engineers. At the University, I started playing football as a defensive end. However, over the years, I have transitioned to playing as long snapper.
Although it has become a challenge to balance academics and sports throughout the semesters because each requires a lot of attention, I never forget that I am a STUDENT-athlete, so my academic career has always come first. To help with my rigorous schedule, I learned to adopt great time management skills and even multitask a little. I also plan out my academic schedule and football practices in a planner, and have study sessions with friends who like me, understand the importance of being a student and an athlete all at once.
I not only am fascinated with our environment but would like to care for it as a marine biologist one day. Hence, my decision to study environmental science in college. At Mount Union I’m captain of the women’s swim team where I swim distance freestyle. Although being a student-athlete balancing my schedule can be challenging, I go to the counseling services provided on campus to help me with stress.
I also use a planner to write out my class schedule, practice times, meetings, and write in study times as athletes can be required to attend study tables if their GPA drops below a certain point. I use my weekends to hang out with my friends or do something fun. I would like to remind not only student-athletes, but students in general, that everyone has bad days and will have bad days, so it is okay to take a day off to get your mental and physical health back in order.
Joshua “Josh” Palmer ‘22, Kent, OH | National security and foreign intelligence analysis, international affairs and diplomacy, and German triple major, history minor
When I started college, I had very little idea of what I wanted to do; I took a wide variety of classes. However, I chose my majors and minor because I would love to follow in my relatives' footsteps by carrying out my love for history and foreign relations in a career dealing with political science. At Mount, I also play soccer as center back on the men’s soccer team.
Recognizing that your time is constricted, you become more driven to complete assignments earlier, instead of procrastinating. Therefore, having a busy schedule that includes practices and games serves as a motivator for me. Time management is important, however, my advice to anyone would be to strive to be the best person you can be. Whether that is in the classroom, on the field, as a friend, as a member of the campus community, or a member of humanity, live your life in such a way that if someone were to talk badly of you, no one would believe them.
As I play hybrid safety position for Mount Union’s football team and my academic schedule is demanding, I try to divide my time to work on school, athletics, and to hang out with friends; setting time aside to do different things allows me to have a better focus. I expect this upcoming academic year to be very successful concerning my classes, football, and my extracurricular activities.
To incoming student-athletes, I advise you to work hard and never give up on your goals. Being both a student and an athlete can be stressful, but whatever you do, do it with 100% effort. Lastly, lead by example—in the classroom and in your community, not just on the field.