Day in the Life of a Student-Athlete: Michaela Esau

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Michaela Esau is a proud member of the women’s tennis team. Photo courtesy of Shilpa Vir of The Journey Blog

Though Michaela Esau, junior Oxbridge literature & theory and communications major, did not start her college career as a student-athlete, she joined the William Jewell College tennis team this fall and has recently landed her first collegiate win. 

Besides being a college student-athlete, Esau balances being a tutor, a Cardinal Blazer, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority and a writer for The Hilltop Monitor. A typical Monday for the involved student-athlete is as follows: 

7:45/8:00 a.m. – Wake up, get ready for the day and go to PLC to do homework for an hour 

9:30 a.m. – Give a tour for prospective students

10:15 a.m. – The Hilltop Monitor meeting 

10:45 a.m. – Eat lunch 

11:15 a.m. – Communication Research Methods class

12:30 p.m. – Do homework

1:45 p.m. – Plague, Piety, and Public policy class

2:50 p.m. – Get ready for practice

3:30 p.m. – Tennis practice 

5:30/6:00 p.m. – Shower and head to the cafeteria for dinner 

7:00 p.m. – Homework

8:00 p.m. – ZTA chapter meeting

8:45/9 p.m. – Homework

10:00 p.m. – Relax and hang out. 

11:30 p.m. – Go to bed 

Balancing school, extracurriculars and a job on top of being a college athlete is no small feat, but Esau considers the opportunity during the day to spend time outdoors playing tennis to be a welcome break.

“I have really enjoyed it because it is kind of impossible to spend all your time doing homework and so I would normally take a break anyway,” said Esau. “It is kind of a stress relief for me to have a period of time every day that I have to go outside and get some exercise.”

While Esau played tennis in high school, she had initially decided against playing it in college.  

“I decided against it, but at Jewell, I would always walk by the tennis courts and kind of miss it,” said Esau.

In spring 2020, some players on the Jewell tennis team had sustained injuries and the team was in need of players. Esau heard about the opening and decided to go for it. However, Esau’s new opportunity – as was the case for many student-athletes this year – was cut short. Esau was only able to have one practice during spring 2020 before the school shut down for quarantine. 

While the spring semester did not work out, officially joining the tennis team this fall has been a positive experience for Esau, and she thoroughly appreciates the positive and relaxed atmosphere of the team.

“We all obviously want to get better and we are competitive, but at the same time, everyone makes it fun. We are a pretty small team, so I like being able to get to know everybody,” said Esau.  

While Esau has only been consecutively practicing on the team since August, she landed her first collegiate win in a recent match against Concordia University. 

“I’m kind of just doing this for fun so to also win sometimes is a really good feeling,” said Esau. “I haven’t been playing competitively for the past three years, so it felt weird to get back into competing. But everyone at Jewell has been really supportive and super excited about it.”  

Hannah Koehler

Hannah Koehler is the page editor for Arts & Culture on The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in English and psychological science.

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