Life as a student athlete: Balancing school, athletics work and life

By Jy’Ahzhannae Taylor

“Being a student athlete means that I have to represent my team, my school, and it’s more than just one the field, it’s also about how you carry yourself off the field. You have to carry yourself in a respectful manner and be a leader,” Yousif Kowa said.

Being a college student is a lot of work, balancing between classes, work and internships and not to mention maintaining a social life. But, imagine doing all of these things on top of athletics – which usually means early-morning lifts, mid-day practices, mandatory study hours in the evening and traveling on the weekends for games. Student athletes have a lot on their plate.

After being informed on what a student athlete is, Kowa then explains how he is able to manage school and athletics. He says management is the main thing that helps him with his preparation and time management. He sets daily goals and finds the time they can all be achieved throughout the day. It might be safe to say Kowa’s got the whole “time management” thing under control since he has been a dean’s list student for the past three years.

He says that his main focus in school is to maintain a good GPA. While being a leader on and off the field, juggling school work and athletics, Kowa still finds time for himself throughout the day. Once the day is over with, usually around eight or nine at night, is when he unwinds for the day by playing video games or watching television shows.

Lately, it seems people have been good on self-care, the most popular trend is “self-care Sundays.” Everyone needs to find a day out the week to be relaxed and just chill, which is typically Sundays for a lot of people.

I asked Kowa how he handles his Sundays to which he respond with “catching up on the next week.”

The women’s rugby captain, Rayven Winters, also gave her definition of what it means to be a student athlete. She says “A student athlete is someone who takes care of their school and their athletic responsibilities. It means that you have to put in hundred percent on and off the field.”

Student athletes have a strategic duty to constantly represent for themselves and their school while being a scholar athlete. Winters stays on top of her management by marking down what’s due and important and from this she finds time to plan out when she will get what done. Winters week is pretty busy, she’s managing being the captain of the Women’s rugby team, while also being on the MAAB board at Niagara. She’ll need time to wind down and Winter says, “Sundays are her recovery days and time to prepare for the next week.”

The time in college is just about learning and understanding what does and does not work for you, how to manage your time and take care of yourself. It seems that the soccer player has all these things down and is working toward perfecting his character on and off the field to the best of his ability.

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