MU
Oak Leaves

November 11, 2016



OPINION
Student Athletes Struggle to Find Balance


Tanner Edge

Being a student athlete in college is quite the accomplishment. It is also quite the challenge, and sometimes, it is quite the struggle. Imagine the day-to day-tasks and struggles a college student athlete has to go through. Waking up for class after being up for the majority of the night, studying for an important test that you’ve been preparing for all week, having stacked classes through the first part of the day where you only have a 10-minute break in between, eating a late lunch because your class schedule is so tight, and then going to practice for three hours and not being done until 6 p.m. Of course you have homework to do after practice and studying to do for your next quiz or exam. The process is never-ending for a college athlete.
 
The biggest emphasis first-year student athlete Travis Adams mentioned was time management. “It is challenging because it is hard to balance sports and school,” Adams said. “You must realize that you are a student before you are an athlete.” Adams is a wide receiver for Manchester University from Marshall, Ill., where he played quarterback for the Marshall Lions. “It has been fun transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver; it is a different change of pace for me and I’m just trying to get the most out of it,” he said. The willingness to put in the effort on and off the field has helped Adams adjust to the college life of a student athlete.
 
Manchester University gives first-year students a chance to get acclimated to college a week before classes start during welcome week. First years are put into SOL groups (Student Orientation Leaders). In these groups, students are advised by two or three Manchester University Students who are of sophomore status or older. This benefits students by giving them a chance to learn the ins and outs of college, adapt to campus, and meet new friends.

Adams has been able to do all three of those things. He has made many friends from the football team to the classroom. Most importantly, he has had success as an athlete and as a student. “It is rewarding because if you do everything the right way, you’ll enjoy your time that much more,” Adams said. “You can focus more on athletics when you’re doing the right things.” Going to college isn’t easy and can be intimidating at times. Adams is proof that if you work hard and do what is right, you can be a successful student athlete.
 
Walking the walk, Adams stays after practice at least twice a week to catch extra passes and run extra routes. His advice to other student athletes were filled with words of encouragement and motivation. “Stay up on your studies and you’ll be able to focus on becoming elite in your sport.” He hopes to crack the starting lineup next football season and show how his hard work has paid off on and off the field. In doing so, he hopes that he will be able to inspire other students to work hard as well to be the best they can be.