If you’re heading off to college for the first time in the fall, you might not know what to expect as a college athlete. Here’s a quick snapshot of what a typical day looks like:
6:25 a.m. – My alarm screams at me to get up, get dressed, eat a protein bar, and head over to the pool. Of course, I text my mom “good morning” as I walk to the pool.
7:00 a.m. – I jump into the freezing cold pool for my first practice of the day. We seize the day with a challenging hour and 45 minute morning workout.
8:45 a.m. – First practice is over. I quickly get changed to head to the dining hall to eat. I have exactly a half hour until my first class begins to fuel up. I also stop at the on-campus Dunkin Donuts on my way to class – it’s essential.
9:30 a.m. – I am sitting in my first class of the day. This business class is an hour and 15 minutes long.
10:45 a.m. – I have 15 minutes in between classes, so there is no time to walk back to my room. I head over to my next class which is also in the Business School.
11:00 a.m. – This class lasts an hour and 15 minutes as well. Of course, I am hungry again by this time, so I eat a few snacks that I have packed for the day during the class.
12:15 p.m. – My second class of the day ends. I have one more before my second practice. Again, I have 15 minutes in between classes, so I walk over.
12:30 p.m. – My class begins. The second practice of the day is on the horizon.
1:45 p.m. – I am done with classes for the afternoon. It’s time to walk over to the pool again. I eat a few protein-filled snacks on my way.
2:00 p.m. – I am jumping into the pool again. The second time around it’s definitely not as cold, but my sore muscles as a result of the morning have kicked in. In the back of my mind I know the afternoon practices are harder than the morning, so I let myself mentally prepare as I swim through warmup.
3:30 p.m. – I made it through the grueling hour and a half. It feels good to be done with practice for the day, but now I am exhausted. It’s time to ice my shoulder on the walk back to my room, shower, drink a recovery shake, and get ready for my last class of the day.
5:00 p.m. – My last class of the day begins. Luckily the hour and 15 minutes goes by pretty quickly and before I know it, I’m meeting my friends in the dining hall for dinner.
6:15 p.m. – My friends and I gather for pretty much the first time today. We are all athletes that are incredibly busy during the day, so dinner is what we all look forward to! We share lots of laughs while recapping our days and it is time to head back to our dorm.
7:00 p.m. – We are all back in our rooms. Now is my first chance of the day to do my homework. On the days I have a large load of work, I go to the library to avoid the distractions of my roommates, but most of the time I complete my work at my desk in my room with good company.
8:30 p.m. – All of my work is complete, and my roommates and I hang out on the couch to watch some Netflix or just chat before bed. I can only keep my eyes open for so long before I am falling asleep on the couch.
11:00 p.m. – It is bedtime. Another day down. I text my family group chat goodnight and that I love them. As I fall asleep, I prepare myself to do it all again the next day.
My State of Mind
This is just a snapshot of my typical day as a Division I athlete. Not every day is the same, but most have this similar routine. For example, some days I do not swim twice and instead have lift in the afternoon. I follow an identical class schedule all throughout the week with an assortment of classes. As the year progresses, I really get in the groove of my schedule and excel.
My schedule is intense, but it keeps me moving and diligent. I have learned through my years as an athlete how to manage my school work, give 110% at every practice, and still leave time to spend with my friends. I love coming to the end of my day and thinking, “I have been so productive today.”
I couldn’t be more thankful for the life skills that being a college athlete has taught me. I can always rely on my hard work whether it be in the pool, the classroom, or maintaining relationships with my best friends.
About the Author: Sarah Scelsa
Sarah Scelsa is an intern with Parisi Speed School. She is a current sophomore at Fairfield University majoring in Marketing with a minor in Communication. Since a young age, Sarah was always playing sports whether it was soccer, softball, or swimming. Her love for sports grew over the years, specifically for swimming. She swam for her club team, Lakeland Hills YMCA, for 9 years and was the captain of her high school team senior year when the team became State Champions for the third year in a row.
After graduating from Mountain Lakes High School, Sarah went on to swim at the Division I level for Fairfield University. Her team has won the MAAC Championship three years in a row now. Sarah credits her successes in the pool and the classroom to the value she has put on hard work her whole life. She is so thankful for all of the opportunities athletics have presented to her and the joy it has brought her over the years.