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Chaos in Time

By Zachary Tallent
On February 12, 2016

Photo by Rodney Latham

College is the time of our lives. We get to do what we want, when we want and enjoy every minute ... unless you’re an athlete.  

OTTAWA--The life of a college athlete is a scheduled mess. Weights at 6 a.m., class from 8-11, team meetings at 12, practice from 4-6 and study hall from 7-9 p.m. This whirlwind schedule sweeps away any sort of free time that a student could have. Jessica, a second year Lady Brave soccer player, commented on her personal free time. 

"The free time that you have, you spend on homework anyways, so it doesn’t matter, she said. 

Even with the installed study hall twice a week that most teams have, homework overflows into unexpected times. It isn’t uncommon to see athletes working on homework late the night before a game or even in the hours prior to when they should be mentally preparing for their contest. 

Here is the math: The average student who wishes to graduate in four years should take 15 hours per semester. Professors are suggested to only give a student three hours of work for every one hour of class time.  

This adds up to an average of 45 hours per week. Of course there is variance, and teachers rarely assign this much work, so that number could easily be dropped to 30 without a problem. 

Now take that 30 hours and add on about three and a half more per day for sports. That would put a person at 51 hours of work per week. 

Enough with the math, though. It isn’t about the exact number of hours spent studying or playing. The stress from these activities piles up until it can almost be too much. With all of these priorities pulling in different directions, it’s hard for these athletes to find time for themselves. 

According to some, the lack of sports can still affect your daily life. When asked if he thought life after sports was more relaxing, Garrett Brown, a former Ottawa Men’s Soccer player, said, “No, not really. If anything, it shows me how much of my time I don’t use effectively.” 

Time management is an important skill that athletes can pull off or at the very least feign. One must be able to juggle school, sports, friends and sometimes work, all without mixing up any schedules or missing a thing. 

All things considered, the life of any college student is hectic. That’s the intention. What students’ learn in school is preparing them for the rest of their lives. Whether that is running kids to soccer practice after work and getting dinner ready while also doing laundry and cleaning, or something else entirely. 

Students have learned to appreciate what free time is allowed to them with student athletes putting theirs at a premium. College just wouldn’t be the same without the chaos. Enjoy the chaos. 

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