Getting prepared

I have learned first-hand the struggle of being a student-athlete, and all the things that it comes with in my first semester of college. I look back and wish that my parents pushed me to be more versatile in my early high school years so I was able to avoid some issues that I came across.

My first semester of Mansfield University I was the only girl sprinter and also the only freshman that did not know what she wanted to do yet. I attended every class, every meet, every practice, as well as tutoring center. At night I would get maybe three hours of sleep and wake up and do it all over. After about three weeks of doing this I lost the focus of school and track. I was stressed and did not know how to deal with it.

During Thanksgiving break I saw the issue, and thought the way to fix that would be to begin to take adderall. Not knowing the full effects of this I went into my spring semester taking adderall and sleeping pills with my dosage of vitamins every morning and night. I thought that I had everything fixed until I was speaking to incoming freshman that wanted to join the track team who asked me how I handled the stress of being the only girl sprinter as well as maintain a 3.0 GPA. I didn’t have words after I got the looks of disapproving eyes when they heard what I did.

All of this could have been easily avoided if my parents had let me become more active and learn how to train my body as well as learn my bodies needs to make it throughout the day. College is not a place to experiment everything, as well as a place to try and find yourself especially if you are a student-athlete. After talking to my coach at the time I learned that all of what I was feeling and attempting to prevent was due to Time Management and how simple it is to make sure that you plan out your day and try to make sure that you are getting adequate rest and treating your body right.

Many freshmen student-athletes are unprepared to successfully deal with these stressors, and knowledge about those specific factors leading to heightened stress levels is essential in the planning of effective time management.”

After living this life, and reading research articles I think that it is very important to inform parents that there is a need to make sure that their children going through their high school years should get more active in the community and their own school activities as they head towards their choice of four years and how they want to live it, either happy and stress free, or struggling to sleep at night and abusing supplements to keep up with all of their work.

Olivia Lopes

Mansfield University

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