Elle playing basketball feature image

Balancing life can be stressful for student athletes in college: Early alarms before the sun is up, late night studying on the bus after an away game, making sure your body is fueled for practice, and so much more.

Here are a few tips— student athlete to student athlete—that will make the experience a little less exhausting. If we have learned anything in recent months, it’s that participating on a team or being able to play a sport you love is something to be thankful for!

Get to know your professors

Your professors understand that your schedules are packed full and can be hectic sometimes, so go out of your way to make a connection with them. Here at Concordia University Ann Arbor, we have the awesome perks of a small college, like the close relationships we can make with our professors.

  • Before your semester classes, you can write an email introducing yourself to your professors to familiarize yourself with them. It pays off to make a good first impression!
  • Make sure to respect your professors rules that they have for their class and try to come to class well prepared with questions. Professors enjoy when you engage in class and it can only help you retain more information that you’ve learned.
Limit your screen time

The hardest part of getting your work done while being an athlete is managing your time to the best of your ability. Personally, I find my phone being the biggest hindrance for me when I am trying to get work done.

  • If you have an iPhone, I recommend setting screen limits on your apps in the settings of your phone. These limits let you know when your time is up on the certain app for the day to help you minimize the time you are on your phone.
  • My personal favorite way to effectively study is setting a time, say 15 minutes, to study and when that time is up then I get a 3 minute break to do whatever I want before I get back to work for the next 15 minutes until all my work is done.

Study at desk

Connect with people outside of your team

You probably feel comfortable with your teammates because of the amount of time you spend with them, but don’t be afraid to reach out and meet new people.

  • Attend your on campus events! CUAA offers a lot of fun on campus events throughout the whole year, like cornhole tournaments, grocery bingo, pumpkin carving, movie nights, and so many more festive and fun things. Students at these events are also looking to have a fun time and socialize, so don’t be afraid to go meet someone new.
  • Joining a club can be another great way to meet new people who might have similar interests to you. Being in a club as well as athletics can sound intimidating, but the leaders of the clubs know that student athletes have tight schedules and will help you find time to do both!

Pumpkin carving event

Don’t forget to eat

Coming from a student athlete, I know your body needs to be fueled for a long day of lifts and practicing so that you can give your 100%. I find myself most physically exhausted on days when I don’t eat the right things or eat enough.

  • Try to get up just 10 minutes earlier to make a breakfast. I know that some people aren’t breakfast eaters, but I fully believe that it gives me a good start to the day and some energy to get through my classes.
  • Keeps snacks in your room! You may find yourself in a bit of a time crunch and won’t have time to run to the cafe, so make sure you have your shelves stashed with snacks to take on your way to a practice or a game.

Breakfast food

Value your down time

You may feel the pressure to fill your leisure cramming in extra study sessions, but I suggest that you take some time for yourself often to relax.

  • Fill this time doing something that you love. For me, I talk to the people that I love, making sure I FaceTime them often. I also love to explore Ann Arbor and find new things to do and new places to walk.
  • Try new things! Whether that be watching a new show, reading a new book, going news places, make sure you take time for yourself to rest your body and mind.

Running trail

Want more tips? Read tips for students from students or get tips on living with roommates.

Ellie headshot

— Ellesyn Fritcha ('24) is a student writer majoring in biomedical science. Questions or concerns related to this article may be directed to news@cuaa.edu.

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