Sleepwalking or just a student-athlete?

Cheyenne Fitzgerald, Staff Reporter

A day in the life of a student-athlete would be similar to a day of sleepwalking.

During the two years of being a collegiate-athlete, I learned quickly that life as a high school athlete from a small town did little to prepare me for what was to come.

Personally I believe that student-athletes do not get enough credit for the amount of hours and time that they must stretch themselves out across.

Even though I was definitely stretched to my limits at times, being a student-athlete taught me how to manage my time and make certain things priority.

During my time as a student-athlete, I always felt as though I had to decide between sleep, grades or a social life.

Many times the latter would literally have to take one for the team.

Student-athletes wake up before the sun for workouts or practices, rush to early morning classes, head from class to practice or lifting, then must find time to eat and do homework in the meantime.

That is only during an off-season.

During the season, there also has to be travel time and weekends where you could quite possibly be in another state.

There are times when the athletes are missing class time so they can travel to their away games that are farther away.

Though homework and studying can be done on the long bus rides, what student can focus on a bus with 20 other people who could be doing any number of things?

Not only do I have personal experience, I was also able to interview a few current student athletes.

Senior volleyball player and student education major Abby Saalfrank said, “It’s a big commitment being a student-athlete. You’re expected to give your all on the court and in the classroom. It’s not easy by any means, but you have to help yourself.”

Similarly senior softball player and sociology major April Markowski said, “I personally love being a student-athlete, but it does get tough at times especially in season when we are missing a ton of classes doing homework on a bus full of talkative girls and even taking finals on the road.”

It is hard to keep the mindset of being a student-athlete instead of an athlete-student when you are putting in the same amount of hours into both if not more into being an athlete.

For me, it was difficult to put the hours into school because anyone would want to be doing something they love rather than sitting at a desk reading a textbook.

Being a student-athlete, it was also rewarding when people recognized the effort and time that was put into both my studies and my team.

Clearly being a former a student-athlete puts bias on the matter, however, athletes have to do the same amount of homework, studying, internship hours, clinical hours, etc. as those who are just students.

Some days you get worn thin and feel overwhelmed.

There is pressure from your teachers and from your coaches to preform your best in both areas.

It is nice to feel a little acknowledgment for the hard work put into succeeding in both areas.


Cheyenne Fitzgerald  is a senior journalism and psychology major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]