Freshman Year As A Student-Athlete
Sophomore softball player Jerrin Faasua (Oceanside, Calif.) talks about how she balanced her freshman year at UW as a student and an athlete. Hopefully some of this year's newcomers to UW can take some tips from her.
For many people like me, coming into an elite academic and athletic school like UW can be a very intimidating and frightening time in their lives. Separately, both school and sports are very challenging but when combined it can be a true test of how mentally strong you are when dealing with them at the same time. Some can handle both while others struggle with one or the other. Not everyone can be great at balancing the two but here at UW we, student-athletes, strive to be great in both aspects of this college.
On our team Coach Tarr always emphasizes on the title student-athletes. As you can see, the first part to our title is student. We are students before we are athletes; therefore, before we can play we must focus on our studies before we can focus on hitting the ball or playing catch. As a student-athlete here at UW, it can be difficult playing a sport and going to school but that is where time management saves us. When I first arrived here my freshmen year (2009-2010), my high school habits were not going to cut it. I was not able to put off a paper until the night before it was due or not study as much as I needed to for tests. Time was a very crucial element everyday and I learned that pretty fast. During the year, even in the off season, our time as an athlete was very limited. We were always doing something every single day and even if we had an off day, we would still be doing something; whether it was going to the weight room and doing some extra cardio or going to the Shellhouse to work on homework or study for upcoming tests. My freshman year I was a little overwhelmed at how little of time I had. Even getting a bite to eat for lunch was hard during the day because I would have classes back-to-back and then have to run down to Husky Softball Stadium for practice right after. That is why I had to prepare for the day before it even happened whether I packed a snack the night before or wore my work out clothes to class so I had time to grab something on the go.
My classes in the fall season were fairly easy considering I was in a FIG (Freshmen Interest Group) which included English 131, Communications 202 and a General studies class. Since UW is a quarter system school, the speed of the courses was pretty quick and subjects in the classes would only be discussed within a couple of days and then we would continue on. Even though I had two classes a day, it was hard for me to keep up with some of the lectures. Like taking notes while listening to a lecture and once your done writing down what he just said you're already lost at what he stated when you writing. I hated taking notes that I didn't understand so whenever I skimmed over some notes when I studied I would go back into the textbooks and reread the material that confused me. Studying became an everyday thing for me with the coaches having us do mandatory study hall and our academic advisors scheduling tutor sessions right after practices. It was hard because you didn't have all the time in the world like you did in high school but overall, the experience to do both was great. As the year went on, my grades improved because my time management and study habits became better. I learned to stop wasting my leisure time and put it to good use. Balancing both school and softball is a hard thing to do; but that is what we student-athletes are here to do. We want to succeed both on and off the field in every aspect of our lives. We work hard, play hard, and study hard to stay on top in our sport and our academics.
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