Entering college, your schedule will be hectic; class, studying, hanging out with friends, greek life, eating, sleeping. That alone can be overwhelming, but when you add in an outrageous practice and game schedule, it can be easy to get in over your head.
As an ex college cheerleader for a program holding multiple national championship titles, I know all about a busy schedule. Good news for you (after being a college athlete for so many years) I also know all about how to manage such a busy schedule!
1) Take full advantage of any free time that you get- Even if it’s five minutes. Cherish it. Do something productive, or if you’ve had enough productivity, take the time to do something you normally are too busy for, but enjoy.
2) Naps- Don’t you wish you could take back all of the childhood naps you used to refuse? I do. Naps are essential if you are too busy to get a great night’s sleep. Plus if you’re feeling stressed, a nap is a great way to just clear your mind and hit the refresh button on your day. And if you don’t think you have time for naps, it’s all about prioritizing. I love spending time with my friends, but when learning to manage my schedule, I quickly figured out that it was better to go back to my room during my lunch break instead of socializing.
3) Don’t let being tired take you away from a great opportunity- I would have missed out on so many great times if I gave into exhaustion and went home after practice, instead of going out with friends.
4) Invest in a planner- I cannot stress enough how important a planner is! Being so busy, it’s easy to forget things. I have my planner with me at all times, so if a professor last minute changes the date of a test, you have your planner out and ready to write it down. Even if you have a set practice schedule, write it in for every week, that way you can clearly see when you’re busy and when you’re not. If you’re in the market for a planner you can check out this post on my favorite recommendations!
5) Do the little things- With so much going on, you may start to question your sanity. There will be those days when you just got out of a mentally and physically exhausting four hour practice and you know that you still have to pull an all nighter to study for the three midterms you have the next day. Pretty overwhelming right? To keep yourself from getting overly stressed, stop to do something for yourself first. Whenever I was in those situations, I would make sure to stop and get my favorite coffee, or I would allow myself one episode of my favorite show on Netflix before diving in to homework and studying. Putting yourself in a better mood before hand will make it so much easier to be more productive.
College can be tough, especially if you are an athlete, but the memories you make along the way make it all worth it. The best part about managing your schedule if you’re an athlete is that you spend so much time at practice, your teammates become your best friends. After a while, going to practice basically becomes multi tasking because you’re getting a workout and spending time with your best friends at the same time.