Class, Practice, Work, Repeat

Bailey Woodall, Staff Writer

Most people don’t realize what being a college athlete is really like. They see us as students who are getting money to play our sport. That money goes towards the cost of school. It doesn’t go towards everyday living. We can’t swipe our debit card and it come out of our scholarship money. We still need a way to pay for items that we must have to live. Behind the athletic gear, the four-day trips to games, and glory of being a college athlete, there’s college athletes that are also working twenty-five plus hours a week in addition to classes and a twenty-hour practice week.

I admit, I was an athlete that received money from my Dad every week to pay for things I needed or wanted. I was super blessed in that way. Then, I realized there were multiple girls on my softball team that pulled off having part-time jobs. If they can do it, why can’t I? Over the summer, I worked three jobs. If I can manage three jobs, surely, I can manage a part time job while at school and playing softball. I underestimated the time commitment. There are days I’m in class from 9:25-12:05, work from 12:30-5:30, and have practice at 7. There’s very little time for anything else, including schoolwork. During off season, softball only practices on Saturday mornings. That means I’ll work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. The free nights that most athletes look forward to, I’m clocking in at work. This is how it is for a lot of college athletes.

How do we manage it? How do we stay at the top of our game, keep our grades up in our classes, and still have a social life? It’s difficult, but it’s possible. My drive is how much I am benefitting from a busy schedule and the hard work. This teaches time management skills and prioritizing. It sets young adults up for what life is like after college. Also, the paycheck every two weeks is rewarding. I’m able to pay for my own things and not have to worry about my Dad putting money in my account. That’s the biggest reason I push through and do it. Another lesson, budgeting. I have to think and be smart with my money. My goal is to save every two weeks. I don’t want to blow it all. After graduation, I want to have some safety money to use. Leaving Kentucky Wesleyan College with no money to my name is not an option.

Being a full-time athlete, student, and employee is the hardest, but the biggest accomplishment. Being a college athlete isn’t always fun and games. There are parts that make life difficult. Such as some need to have a job to pay rent, but have little time to work because of their practice and work schedules. Many people don’t realize the true background of what it’s life. They instantly think of the stereotype. But, it’s a lot of juggling between the three. Keeping a social life is the hardest part. All your free time is spent catching up on sleep or doing homework. You must force yourself to have the energy to go out or make time for your friends. It’s important that you do though. College is supposed to be the most fun years of your life, don’t forget that. If you’re a college athlete with a job reading this, go have fun! Dig deep and use the little bit of energy you have after your shift and go out. Still make memories with your friends. The responsibility you’re showing is impressive and it will all pay off in the end. You’ve got this.