Life as a Student-Athlete

Annie Seboe
Whether you just committed to HU or are entering your last season, here are some pieces of advice I would give to a student-athlete.

Constantly exhausted. No time for homework, let alone a social life. Struggling silently with mental health issues.  

These are descriptions of the student-athlete life that I heard from family and friends when I committed to Huntington University to play women’s basketball. Naturally, I was nervous at the beginning of my freshman year. Now in the middle of my junior year, I can confidently say that my family and friends were misguided in their assumptions of the student-athlete life. Whether you just committed to HU or are entering your last season, here are some pieces of advice I would give to you, the student-athlete, to avoid being described as the words above: 

  1. Prioritize Sleep  

In a study on student-athletes and sleep done at the University of Arizona, researchers found that college students, like highly active athletes, need at least eight to nine hours of sleep for their best performance*. Getting to sleep at a reasonable time to ensure eight to nine hours of rest looks different for every student-athlete, but it is one of the most important steps towards performing your best in the classroom and in athletics. For me, not being on electronics before I go to bed helps my mind relax faster when falling asleep.  

  1. Utilize Time Management Skills 

Time management is the most crucial skill to have as a student-athlete because it will help you schedule time to study, socialize, and, most importantly, get to bed on time. For me, time management looks like having a planner where I write in events happening in my day, like practice or other responsibilities, so I can plan when to do homework. However you decide to remember all your responsibilities, make sure not to overbook yourself. Be intentional about making time to relax and enjoy time with friends so you can have an outlet after practices, workouts, or games.  

  1. Speak Up  

At HU, there are many resources for the struggling student-athlete. There is an option for student-athletes to be represented by a third party on campus for any issues involving athletics. This is called an ombudsperson. For example, if you are having an issue with your coach and do not feel comfortable addressing it directly with the coach, you could turn to an ombudsperson on campus. An ombudsperson is a staff member who is not affiliated with athletics and is not biased in any way as a result. This staff member will meet with you and discuss the necessary steps moving forward to resolve your issue, which could include representing you in a meeting with athletic administration.  

Another resource available to all students can be found in the Office of Student Life. This office provides guidance and services for physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and academic issues that you may find yourself facing as a student-athlete. In the Office of Student Life, staff members will be able to help you find the office or service across campus that will best resolve your issue. A few important services I have found helpful as a student-athlete are the Academic Center for Excellence, which provides academic assistance and tutoring, and the confidential counseling service, which is free for students.  

As Forester student-athletes, we strive for growth in all areas of life. Hopefully, these pieces of advice can help you improve your experience as a student-athlete at HU to compete, excel in the classroom, and serve Christ to your fullest potential.  

To set up a meeting with an ombudsperson, complete the online form

For more information on the extensive services provided by the Office of Student Life, stop by the main office on the first floor of the HUB or check out their online list of student resources.  


*Intervention Could Help Student-Athletes Sleep, The University of Arizona, 2017 

Written by
Annie Seboe