Being able to balance your social, academic, and athletic life is not easy

Illustration and Painting

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Illustration and Painting

Have you ever caught yourself feeling overwhelmed with a million thoughts racing through your mind all at once? Me too.

As a student-athlete who is incredibly social and involved in other extracurricular activities other than sports, oftentimes I find myself struggling to breathe. Using myself as an example, I wake up at 6:45 a.m. everyday, go to school, go to theater rehearsal or practice, go home, do homework and hang out with loved ones, shower, work on more homework, sleep, and then repeat it all the following day. Everything I stated is the basic run down; however, I failed to mention the most important part of all: the stress and what goes on in my mind.

In one long run-on sentence for emphasis, this is my schedule revised with absolutely everything involved as well with the inner-thoughts that I have while doing them:

Wake up at 6:45 [If possible, if I went to sleep late because I stayed up doing homework I may not be able to wake up easily], go to school [I need to find a class to sleep in because I am exhausted and my mind isn’t functioning at peak performance], go to rehearsal [thankfully my sport is over now, and I don’t have to balance both in the same timeframe], go home [I need to eat, shower, and clean], hang out with boyfriend or friends [I wish I could take a nap, but I need to maintain my bonds and keep up with my social life], at last it is time to wrap up and sleep. Wait! I forgot about the work I did not do in the hour I slept. I have to stay up even later to complete that assignment. The next day, the cycle most likely repeats.

Needless to say, this cycle is overwhelming.

I have to keep track of a million things at once and still excel in all areas of my life. With a jumbled mind, doing well is difficult. I bounce around from school, theater, hanging out with loved ones, practice, etcetera, and it is a lot to handle.

As a varsity athlete, there is already so much pressure on oneself to hold up your part of the team. Along with school stressors, family or friend issues, and maintaining  your health, it is difficult. Contradictory to what everyone says, I believe that mental health is overlooked nowadays. Student-athletes put aside their mental wellness just to balance school and their respective sports. Is it really worth your teenage years and mental health to maintain a good GPA and perform well in sports? It is not. Coaches and teachers need to look out for the best interests of their student-athletes and vice versa as the student-athlete needs to realize how much is on their plate and choose wisely so it makes coaches’ lives easier too.

Overall, the idea of perfect balance is nonexistent, but balance is achievable; however, it is very difficult. If you are a student-athlete like me, take the advice I am unable to follow myself: It is okay to not do everything.