Student Before Athlete
Many kids grow up dreaming of playing sports at the collegiate level as they watch their local team win homecoming, or sit in the stands at that big rival game that the entire town comes out to. But in college, the hard work isn’t just on the field. Athletes also strive to excel in the classroom.
Being a student-athlete takes a lot of time and effort to achieve success. Unlike many schools, Arcadia aims to support athletes in all aspects from the field to the classroom.
In my first season of lacrosse, I was not worried about how I would perform on the field or how much weight I could lift in the gym. Instead, I was worried about how I was going to manage my time. Luckily, the coaches shared their tips to help us do this. The first thing is trying to manage your class and practice schedule. Before the season starts, the coaches make it clear what the practice times will be. They also stress that it is more important to go to class instead of pushing it off if it interferes with the practice time. I have personally scheduled classes during practice time and have never been punished or penalized in any way. Coaches will even let you leave practice early if your class begins halfway through.
One of the biggest questions people ask is about missing classes for games. At the beginning of the semester, it is vital to work with your professor to inform them of the game schedule. For some classes such as labs, you can usually only miss one lab for the entire semester before you receive a failing grade, so it is important to be proactive instead of reactive. You can ask if there is another lab time. If there isn’t one, you should inform your coach of the situation and get excused from the game. They are more than understanding that school comes first.
The entire athletic department—from your trainer to Arcadia’s strength and conditioning coaches—is dedicated to supporting you in your athletic and academic achievements.
Managing time throughout the entire semester takes practice. Each person has their own way of dealing with these challenges, but I find it best to have an organized daily planner. Doing assignments on the bus or in the 20 minutes between classes can save you hours of time at night so that you can maintain a healthy sleep and dietary schedule.
As I said before, the entire athletic department—from your trainer to Arcadia’s strength and conditioning coaches—is dedicated to supporting you in your athletic and academic achievements. If you are struggling at any point during the semester, ask the Athletics staff what to do. If they don’t know, they will refer you to one of Arcadia’s many departments that specialize in those things.
In general, being a student-athlete at Arcadia is beyond my expectations. The dynamic of the small school provides a sense of community between teams that is hard to find anywhere else. Along with the top-of-the-class staff and resources, Arcadia has provided an opportunity for all athletes to succeed in the classroom and on the field.