I loved being a student-athlete at the University of Virginia. It was an enjoyable time in my life and was something that made me the person I am today. I had to learn how to balance school and sport which had proved to be a challenge because it was new.
Being a student-athlete is a privilege and should not be taken for granted. You're not only there to represent your school on an athletic level but also on an academic level as well. It can be difficult to juggle the two, you will be very busy and are going to have to learn how to focus on both.
1. Having a Schedule
Schedules are great to have because they keep you organized. Organization is the name of the game because you will have to find time to study, play soccer, eat, sleep, practice, go to school, etc. These are a lot of activities and if you're not properly allocating time, you'll find yourself unorganized and not able to stay on top of everything. Whether it is a calendar in your phone or a physical calendar, start writing down the events you know are constant i.e. soccer practice, school, soccer matches. From there, you can visually see where your time is being spent and where you can fit other events like extra training, tutor, extracurricular, etc. Staying organized is half the battle and is the first step in balancing school and soccer.
2. Being Proactive and Being Accountable
Being able to be proactive than reactive is beneficial in your balancing because you won't ever have to scramble around to find time for something. Being proactive would look something like scheduling time weeks in advance to work on a paper so when the paper is due, you hand it in because you've been working on a little every week. The opposite is waiting for the last minute and finding out there isn't much time to work on the paper because you have prior commitments. It's all tied together and having a calendar will keep you from these type of predicaments.
3. Ask for Help
There is no such thing as a stupid question. Everyone needs help and it is foolish to not ask for help. If you feel you're struggling with your time and can't figure out how to stay on top of things, ask for help. Ask a teacher, parent, guardian, coach, etc. They're there for guidance through difficult times and this can be tough if going through balancing school and soccer for the first time.
Life is all about balance, and understanding the most effective approach is beneficial. If you can apply these three things discussed above, you're on your way to balancing school, soccer, and everything in between.