In March of 2015, the NCAA put out a video that was supposed to depict the average day in the life of a student athlete. Many student athletes were upset by how unrealistic this video was, as it failed to include multiple practices, classes or homework time.
This week, the Hilltop Monitor turns to a William Jewell College student athlete as a part of its “Day in the Life” series. Rachel Janiak, sophomore public relations major, is a member of the cardinal swim team. She gave the Monitor a rundown of her typical Monday, which starts bright and early at 5 a.m.:
5:00: Wake up
7:45-8:45: Get ready, eat breakfast, take a 15 minute nap if possible
9:00-10:05: Public relations class
11:30-12:30: Eat / homework
12:30-1:35: Accounting class
1:45- 2:50: Interpersonal communications
3:20: Stretch for afternoon practice
3:50 – 5:30: Pool
6:30- 7:00: Eat dinner
Wednesday is the only weekday that Janiak does not have a second evening swim practice. In addition to her classes and practices, she teaches swimming lessons during the week. Some Saturdays she has swim meets, but she also babysits on the weekends.
When Janiak saw her schedule written out in this format, she realized just how exhausting the life of a student athlete can be. However, when she’s living her Mondays instead of scheduling them, they feel much more doable.
When life gets overwhelming, Janiak relies on her team.
“Remember that your teammates and people around you are going through the same thing,” said Janiak.
She also thinks it’s important to take breaks and makes sure that she has time for a nap everyday.
“Stopping what you are doing and taking a nap or breathing can be helpful to relax,” said Janiak.
The life of a student athlete tends to look a lot more hectic – and a lot less glamorous – than that NCAA video. However, when athletes find support in their teammates and remember to take time to decompress, the college athlete experience can be an extremely rewarding one.