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On a late Friday night Senior Will Williams is typing away, rushing to finish his essay before his team leaves for a long run of tournaments.
An essay that isn’t due until the next Tuesday, but the senior sports marketing major will be spending the majority of his weekend doing homework, since he will miss the first half of the week playing golf tournaments.
This is the life of a student-athlete at RC. Weekends filled with homework to make up for the class time that will soon be missed.
Head basketball coach, Klint Pleasant has several pieces of advice that he gives to his players when they start a new season. “Each player has a weekly check in with coaches to make sure they are managing their studies appropriately,” Pleasant said.
Pleasant also encourages his players to go out of their way to interact with fellow students and professors. He goes as far as having his players sit in the front row of their class, so that they will not only be more likely to pay attention, but also make a connection with their professors.
As a student-athlete myself, I know the struggle of being one. I spend a large part of my spring and fall at golf practices and tournaments, which forced me to learn how to balance my responsibilities, so here are my tips on surviving RC as a student-athlete.
1. Plan out your schedule. College can get crazy and keeping up with responsibilities such as homework and studying can be hard enough, but throw in practices, games and travel and it becomes even harder. Make sure that you have some way to plan everything out. I use a whiteboard and I write down everything that I have due for that week and when. Then I cross off each item as I go. This helps me stay on track and avoid forgetting something is due after getting back from a road trip.
2. Take advantage of the ACE Lab. This is great advice for any student, but especially student-athletes. The ACE Lab is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. They have tutors that can help you when you fall behind or miss class for a game or match. You can either walk in or schedule an appointment ahead of time with a tutor. This can be a big help during the season when you miss class time.
3. Keep your teachers up to date. It is important to let your teachers know when you will be missing class. If you let them know ahead of time, they are more then likely to fill you in on what you will miss that day in class.
4. Ask classmates for help. Another way to get the information on what you missed is to ask a friend in the class what you missed or to have them share their notes with you. Either way becomes important to get caught up on what you missed.
5. Keep your coaches in the loop. You always want to stay on your coach’s good side, so it is important to let them know when you have a problem. If you are sick and will be missing practice it is always better to let them know ahead of time. You should also keep your coach up to date on your grades. If you are struggling in a class let them know before it gets too bad and you become ineligible. They may know of a tutor or someone on campus that can help you get the grade up.
6. Have snacks ready to go. Athletes may have to miss a meal or are hungry after a long practice, so it is important to have food and snacks in your room to eat when this happens. I choose to fill up on cereal, milk and yogurt. It’s a healthy choice and can fill you up at the same time.
7. Prepare ahead of time for long road trips. When you have a road trip coming up where you will miss class, it’s important to plan ahead. Not only by packing essentials, such as shower stuff, chargers, toothbrush and other items, but also it’s best to try to get your work done ahead of time. It can to do homework on the road and in hotels, because of bad Wi-Fi and just being tired from the travel and the match or game that you just played. You’re always better of getting all of the work done before you leave.
Being a student-athlete is tough, but if you follow these steps, they should help you succeed at RC.