Playing a sport in college is a common goal for most athletes in high school. However many students realize that playing a sport at the collegiate level and going to school full-time is a challenge many are unable to conquer.
Even with all the talent in the world, student-athletes are just that at the end of the day — students.
Alexis Blasingane, a senior occupational therapy major, from Saint Petersburg, is a catcher for FAMU’s softball team. She believes dedication is the key to maintaining a lifestyle as a student-athlete.
“Playing a collegiate sport is practically a job. You have to maintain certain standards to make sure you are eligible to be a part of that organization,” Blasingane said.
Time management plays a huge role in a student-athlete’s life. Many athletes’ schedules consist of practice early in the morning, class during the day and study hall at night.
Haleigh Porter, a junior journalism major from Chicago, is on FAMU’s tennis team.She says it’s easier said than done when referring to time management for one’s self.
“It’s one thing to be able to say I need to manage my time but it’s another thing to do it,” Porter said.
According to a study by Athletic Insights, student-athletes have been reported with stress that is higher than usual, which also deals with different variables as well. These variables include increased workloads that correlate to unbearable amounts of responsibility, not getting enough sleep and the demand of extracurricular activities outside of the classroom.
With each passing year that goes by, many student-athletes at FAMU have expressed the sentiment about how the amount of stress has ramped up throughout their freshman and sophomore years.
Xavier Smith, a health and leisure fitness major, is a sophomore wide receiver on the football team. Smith described the early rigors he faced when trying to balance his academics while catching passes on the field.
“I had to put away a lot of the fun that I used to have,” Smith said. “During my freshman and sophomore year, I could push a few (of my) studies back, but now I have to put many things on the back burner.”
While managing schoolwork and keeping the student before the athlete seems to be a common goal for many student-athletes at FAMU, graduating college in four years is the main goal that is often the hardest to reach.
Though student-athletes have many resources to help them succeed, there still seems to be one question that will always bring forth more questions and even fewer answers: How does the hectic schedule of a student-athlete interfere with their mental health?