Luke Pierce came all the way from Floresville, a small town in Texas, to attend William Jewell College. Many members of his family also attended the College, making Jewell a second home for Pierce.
Besides being a student-athlete on the track & field team – where he runs the 400m, 200m and 4×4 relay – Pierce is a member of Tri-Beta Honor Society, writes for The Hilltop Monitor and is enrolled in 20 credit hours this semester. A typical Monday for Pierce is as follows:
7 a.m.: Wake up, shower, eat a big breakfast and look over homework
9 a.m.: Organic Chemistry class
10:15 a.m.: The Hilltop Monitor meeting, eat lunch and do a bit of homework
11:15 a.m.: Microbiology class
12:30 p.m.: Physiology class
1:45 p.m.: Ecology class
3 p.m.: Undergraduate research meeting
3:30 p.m.: Track practice. Pierce is typically 15 minutes late due to his research meeting, so he misses warmups.
5 p.m.: Shower, decompress and plan for the evening
5:30 p.m.: Cook and eat dinner
7 p.m.: Homework
12 a.m.: Go to bed to wake up for weights on Tuesday at 4:30 a.m.
It is undeniably hard to balance 20 credit hours of classes on top of being a student-athlete, but Pierce says it’s all about balance for him.
“I have this philosophy: mind, body and spirit… I got into body first, and then I got to college and started working with the mind and now I’m working on the spirit part. Basically those three aspects, I try to make that my foundation. If I have that then I’ll get through anything else,” Pierce said. “If you get stressed out with this kind of schedule, you’re going to fail. You can’t go into 20 credit hours and go to practice everyday and lift weights twice a week and still make it. You have to look for a way to do it and that’s how I do it.”
Pierce’s balance between academics and sports keeps him very disciplined, even down to the meals he eats. But he insists that he likes his academic routine and that his regimen for staying healthy helps him think more clearly.
Through overcoming the challenges that maintaining academics and sports bring, Pierce says he feels more prepared for the future. He plans to go to dental school after taking a gap year.
“It’s really made me look at myself and how I do things… I’m always looking to do things better. [Finding balance is] probably one of the hardest things I’ve done. But I want to go to dental school and you take a lot of credit hours at once so this is a good test to see how that would feel,” Pierce said. “And so far, it’s not bad. I’m doing how I thought I’d do, how I wanted to do. Grade-wise, physical-wise, where I am with jobs and dental school and all that stuff.”
Track meets start Jan. 16 during Pierce’s final semester, as he readies himself for graduation and running in his final college sports season.