Student athletes face off against extra stress

Balancing school and work is never an easy task, but what happens if we throw collegiate athletics into the mix? The stress of work and school can be trying enough, but today’s college athletes have much more on their plate. How do collegiate athletes today manage their time? From exercising to spending time with friends, they find different ways to manage the stress.

“We are full-time students with many obligations outside of school and track,” said Clackamas Community College high-jumper Desiray Robinson. “I deal with it by getting rest in order to reset my mindset, and spend time with my roommates and friends to remind me of the fact that I need to try and have some fun.”

Dealing with everyday stress for a college athlete seems to be part of the routine for a season, but what happens when school gets a little too hectic?

“During finals week is when track gets really stressful,” said Robinson. “I have to worry about studying and passing all my classes in order to still be eligible to compete for track.”

The average student has a lot of stress during finals week. The amount of stress added to an athlete having to worry about eligibility as well is just too much.
Although Robinson felt it added ample amounts of stress, she still loves the track program and would never leave it.

Robinson has managed her time between school and track to be able do the things she wants to. Today’s athlete will succeed if they manage their time correctly, even if it means sometimes going above and beyond to do so.

“I try to stay ahead in class in case there are makeup games during the week and I have to miss class, which has already happened in spring term,” said CCC pitcher Mark Rees via text message. “You have to make time for yourself somehow so you don’t get stressed out.”

Rees went on to add that baseball has prevented him from getting the grades he wanted in certain classes. By staying ahead in class he can plan for unforeseen scheduling conflicts that baseball always brings in Oregon.

“I had a double header at Pacific College the day before my final in science.” said Rees via text message. “There were rain delays and one of the games went into extra innings. We got back at 1:30 in the morning and I did not have any time to prepare for the final like I usually do. Because of that, I had no chance to get an A in the class.”

College athletes like Rees are missing their chance to get their desired grades because of their obligations to athletics. It challenges these athletes to deal with college life in a completely different way than your everyday student.

“For me, I’m paying for everything on my own,” said CCC volleyball player Taylor Balkan. “So that means the apartment, food, electricity all that kind of stuff. This season I tried working two jobs and playing volleyball and taking 17 credits and that didn’t work out in my favor as far as grades were concerned, it was super stressful.”

Balkan was in the same boat as all of the other college athletes, trying to manage the stress of work and school while playing a college sport. She found that making a to-do list and exercise are good ways to manage the stress. Though it would seem that as hard as these college athletes try at every aspect of their life, they are rewarded with extra stress.



Taylor Balkan works the admissions booth on Sunday, April 12, at a volleyball tournament, another job in her already hectic schedule.

story by: Gifty Ulinwa and Jack Spencer

photo by: Jack Spencer


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Gifty Ulinwa