A Day in the Tired Life of A Collegiate Student-Athlete

Photo Courtesy: CJ, flickr

By Nicole Johnson, Swimming World College Intern

She stumbles into class with a wet bun on her head and a warm coffee thermos in her hand. She slides into her seat, places her thermos on the ground and lays her head down on the desk. The boy in the seat next to her looks over at as if she looks like a mess, which she does. Little does he know that she has been awake since before the sun rose at 5:00 this morning.

The professor stomps into the room and the sound of the door shutting startles her and brings her attention to the front of the room. As the professor starts talking, all she can think about is how sore she’s going to be from running a few miles this morning and how she’s probably going to get sick from swimming in such cold weather.

She reaches inside her swim bag and pulls out her bagel and cream cheese, granola bar, and banana. The boy in the seat next to her glances over at the feast she has brought to their 9am class. Little does he know that she has already burned 1,200 calories today and is struggling to replenish her body and gain energy for the next practice. As she starts to spread cream cheese on her bagel, she feels her eyes start to shut and starts to regret staying up late the night before to finish her tiresome assignment.

She jumps in her seat to the thud of her thermos tipping over and spilling all over the hard ground. There goes her only hope of being able to stay awake throughout the day. She leaves class to go get paper towels from the bathroom and she feels her phone start to vibrate in her back pocket. She pulls it out and sees the name “Coach” on her screen. She answers it and her face starts to droop as she hears her coach tell her that he needs her to swim the 200 fly at the meet this weekend.

At practice that afternoon, she dives into the cold water and all of her worries start to go away. At that moment, she feels free from the weight of school and tests as she flip turns. The pool feels like her home and helps her relieve stress. When she gets to the other wall, she remembers that she has to get out of practice early and make the long walk to her three-hour night class.

Wet hair, dry face, and food in hand she walks into class and sits down. Her legs are still aching from all of the squats she did in the weight room yesterday morning. The professor walks to her desk and asks if he can speak to her outside. She slowly follows him to the back door and he begins to tell her that she got a bad grade on the most recent test. She starts to explain how she had been away at a swim meet all weekend and barely had time to study.

After class, she sits down at her desk and faces the dilemma of whether to review and study for her class, or get sleep so she’s rested for morning practice the next day. She decides to study even though she knows it will hard to get up when her alarm buzzes early in the morning. Once she has spent enough time on her assignment, she brushes her teeth and crawls into bed.

She falls asleep knowing that all of her hard work inside the pool and out will be worth it and is thankful for the opportunity of being a student-athlete.

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Roberta Director
8 years ago

As always, my granddaughter’s life, ( this is not her, but what her life is all about) it never ceases to amaze me ! I am impressed by all she does !

Marla Golden
8 years ago

Suraya Golden

Colleen Smith
8 years ago

Exactly how it was:) Except for getting out of practice early to get to a class. That would never happen:/

Josh Dow
8 years ago

Lauren Teghtsoonian

Lisa Sebastian Sylvester

Jordan Mark

Jordan Mark
8 years ago

Currently forcing myself to study right now haha

Brady Leigh Shankaruk
8 years ago

Taylor Shankaruk

Ryan Estabrooks
8 years ago

Nicole Nielsen

8 years ago

It’s such a challenge for a student-athlete to balance it all. Kudos to all of those dedicated kids who somehow manage to pull it off and support their universities with great effort, sacrifice and pride. Keep up the good work!

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