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What is the balance like as a scholar-athlete in college?

I am a high school senior and currently the captain of the girls varsity tennis team and want to know how difficult it is to balance athletics and social life with the career choice of engineering. I understand engineering is a heavier work load, and playing a varsity sport at a college or university is also a huge time commitment. How can I balance my time between the different activities in my life? #student #athlete #balance

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Casey’s Answer

Hi Betsy! This is a great question. I myself was a Division 1 lacrosse player in college and would have to say that it was one of the most rewarding experiences. My college experience was very different from others who did not play sports, but I was still able to pursue my passions. I myself was an accounting major but I had friends on my team that were engineers.

One of the greatest skills I learned during my time as an athlete, was time management. This is a skill that translates very well to the workplace. When it comes to academics, you will learn how to prioritize your work loan and meet deadlines. Your athletics obligations consist of practice, games, conditioning, lifting, and coaches meetings.

I highly recommend making sure that make time to pursue your other passions and goals in college. Though academics and athletics will take up most of your time, you will have time to have a social life. In college I was able to hang out with friends, serve on two boards and attend community service events through my college.

Though it was challenging, it was rewarding in that I had the opportunity to play a sport that I loved, at a very competitive level, while also getting my education. Everything is manageable, and I wish you all the best of luck!

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Stephen’s Answer

Hi Kristin,

You can certainly balance the two, however there will always be tradeoffs.

I personally played D3 lacrosse at a highly competitive college and found the experience extremely rewarding. There are times when the combination of school work and practice/games can feel overwhelming, however being proactive in your life and scheduling can minimize these issues. College sports are nicely regimented so you will know what you schedule looks like far in advance. The same is generally true for you classes as well. As a result of this, you can be proactive in scheduling out your weeks and months. If you have a large assignment coming ahead and know that it is due the same weekend of a major tournament, you can be proactive and do the assignment a week early.

From my experience you can definitely manage a sport and college but you lose the luxury of being flexible in your schedule, so its really up to how committed you want to be to a sport.

Best of luck in your decision!

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Maria’s Answer

It was very hard for me because I wanted to be successful in both areas. I wanted to have good grades, but also be the best golfer in the country. I believe a focus on time management was key for me. You can do a lot with time, but you cannot do everything. All of this is definitely easier said than done, but I believe that all the challenges I embraced as a collegiate athlete helped me be more prepared for the future.