Maintaining a balance between academics and personal interests is one of the biggest challenges of staying in college. Daily readings, requirements, and quizzes all build up to the unbearable stress of a term. Extra-curricular activities and responsibilities also add up to the weight of one’s workload. The struggles of a student are often difficult to handle. However, there are those who go beyond: student-athletes. Being a member of any athletic program requires a great commitment to train and compete in honor of the Green-and-White.
School and sport
For a student-athlete, balancing both studies and trainings is no easy task. It requires a lot of energy, commitment, and of course, discipline. Michael Saragena of the Green Shuttlers, for example, gets started on his assignments the moment they are given. Lady Batter Sam Amores shares that time management is her secret weapon to conquer both studies and trainings.
According to Amores, life during the offseason is more tiring as compared to when the UAAP Softball Tournament takes place. Meanwhile, for Saragena, he finds life during the badminton season more difficult since he also has to focus on his games. He shares that one time, during the season, his grades were far from ideal, and after the season, he had to put in extra effort to catch up on his studies.
During the season, missing classes due to games is inevitable. To cope with the scenario, Green Batter Boo Barandiaran immediately speaks to his professors. “[I] talk to my profs beforehand [and explain] that I would miss class because of games, and after, I ask my classmates and my teachers what I can do to make [up] for it,” he says on the situation. Despite his early rise as one of La Salle’s prime athletes, the 2015 Rookie of the Year continues to grind to constantly improve his game. He always finds time to work out on his own during rest days. “I really do love baseball so I like swinging my bat or doing batting drills.”
Student-athletes are not only engaged to studying and training all the time. They also have their personal hobbies outside of sports. Amores shares that she catches up on sleep, does painting, and goes outdoors. She makes sure that she allots time with her friends on a daily basis while her weekends are spent with her family. Amores also shares that she spends her leisure time with her dogs.
Originally from Mindanao, Saragena only spends time with his family during term breaks or long weekends, as those are the only opportunity to go back home. While in Taft, he spends most of his time with his high school or college friends, stressing the importance of maintaining friendships.
As for Barandiaran, he spends his free time watching Netflix, along with relaxing with his friends and cousins.
Most difficult part of being a student-athlete
For Saragena, the hardest part of being a student-athlete is the fatigue that he experiences on a daily basis. “Gigising ka ng umaga para mag-training, tapos may pasok ka. Yung pagod talaga ng katawan,” he shares. He also points out that missing class is difficult because he misses out on a lot of lessons and activities.
Amores, on the other hand, says that making sacrifices and managing both the academics and the sport are the two hardest parts of being a student-athlete. “To be studying in DLSU is a great opportunity, but to be playing the sport you love for your dream school is a greater privilege,” she says. Coming into his third year of playing for the Green Batters, Barandiaran mentions that time management is the most difficult part of being a student athlete. “Biggest challenge for me is making your schedule fit [with trainings] because it really gets tiring and stressful.”
After attaining her degree, Amores shares that she will travel and probably work or complete further studies abroad. On the other hand, Saragena talked about plans to work in a sports corporation. While he mentions that he does not have plans of playing for the national team, Saragena is also eyeing to continue his badminton career as a coach. Meanwhile, for Barandiaran, he is looking to help his family’s poultry venture after graduating from the University. “I plan to work with my dad for the family business, plus start something on my own,” he explains.
No days off
Being consistent on maintaining a balance in the different aspects of life is no stroll in the park. Juggling professors and coaches, along with training, games, and social life is no venture for the faint of heart. Becoming a dean’s lister, improving one’s game, and bringing pride to La Salle may also seem like difficult targets to chase. However, the beauty of sports, along with academics, equips student-athletes with values that will allow them to succeed beyond the classroom and stadium.