By: Cullen McIntyre, Staff Writer
Being a college student athlete means balancing a heavier workload of both school and sport responsibilities. After speaking to two student athletes, Alexandria Allain (First Year, Women’s Soccer) and Britney Evangelista (Fourth Year, Women’s Ice Hockey), I got a better understanding of the life of a student athlete.
Allain, a freshman nursing major living on campus in Anderson Hall, schedules her daily routine around her busy soccer schedule.
“My typical daily routine starts when I wake up, if it’s during the week I go to classes, and then plan the rest of my day around my soccer schedule,” Allain said. “If I have practices they are early in the day and if it’s gameday then I miss some of my classes.”
Though for Evangelista, a senior biology major, who lives off-campus in Portland, her daily routine is different.
“Typically now that we’re in season, I wake up and since I live in Portland I get up around 5:45 a.m. and try to make a quick breakfast and try to get a workout in at some point in the day,” Evangelista said.
As an athlete, the day revolves around practices, but they also a need to find time to get homework done and make it to every class.
“On days when I have games, like tomorrow when I play at Keene State, I miss all of my classes. You just have to talk to your professors and make sure they’re okay with it,” Allain said. “Being a student athlete can be very overwhelming, especially when you have exams. You may come back from practices or games and you have to cram for an exam,” she added.
Evangelista said that she enjoys the pressure of being a college student and athlete.
“I really like it. It keeps me in a routine,” Evangelista said. “This is my fourth year doing it so I don’t know if I would be as motivated to do school work if I didn’t have hockey because I’m working towards something. It helps me out.”
As a senior, Evangelista is currently doing a lot of research outside of her normal school work in the biology lab which she also has to commit a lot of time to.
“Since I’m in my senior year I have a lot of work so I do research in the biology department,” Evangelista said. “I do a lot of outside school work and work itself. It gets challenging, but you just reminding yourself that it will all work out and take it day by day.”
Athletes spend a lot of time at practices and with their teams. For Evangelista, she spends most of her days with her team both practicing and workout out.
“We spend about two hours on the ice, probably another hour in a half to two hours in the gym” Evangelista said.
The same also applies for Allain, who said, “I spend typically probably two hours a day playing soccer, but altogether you spend a lot of time with the team. Today I had practice at 8 p.m., but I had to be there and be ready to warm-up at 7:45 p.m. so we have to be in the locker room about 30 minutes prior. And after that we had a team meeting after, so we spend a lot of time together throughout the day.”
As a freshman, Allain is required to do study table hours at either the Costello Sports Complex or at the library each week.
“We have to do four study table hours a week, along with trying to figure out your schedule and practice times, so it can be a lot,” said Allain. As a senior, Evangelista is not required to do study table hours as it is only mandatory for freshman student athletes.
As student athletes are also college students, money can be be a struggle. They may have to juggle work-study or other jobs for pay for school. As a student athlete, which is a major time commitment throughout the school year, it can be tough to also work at the same time.
“Trying to find a job is a struggle,” said Allain, “Obviously being a typical broke college student, but you can’t work throughout the week so it’s been pretty difficult.”
Student athletes commit a lot of time to the sport they love, while also balancing the life of a college student. Though it is challenging, they are getting to follow their passion and compete at the collegiate level for their sport. Hard work and dedication is what drives these athletes, but they also are supported by the USM Athletic Department and the community around them.