How Athletes Balance Work and Play at the University of Maryland

By Abby Wiltz
For Unwind magazine

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Photo by Sammi Silber

Between work, play and college life, it can be difficult for student athletes to balance hectic sports schedules and mountains of schoolwork.

With 19 varsity sports at the University of Maryland, athletics is a big deal. However, many of these athletes become flooded with the workload, or do not have any free time to participate in social events.

According to freshman and soccer player Eliza Campbell, she often finds herself struggling to finish school work with her schedule.

Portrait of tired young business woman with laptop computer

“I get really overwhelmed with trying to figure out ways to balance my schoolwork, my soccer practice schedule and having time to go out with my friends,” Campbell said. “I’ve already had to turn down fun things because I have too much to do, and there has only been three weeks of school.”

On the other hand, some athletes have it all figured out. According to freshman football player Brian Plummer, he plans his day accordingly.

“It’s hard [to balance] because there is a lot to do, but I do what I’m supposed to do when I need to,” Plummer, a business management major, said. “[I] practice in the afternoon, study in study hall and go out on the weekends when I don’t have work to do.”

In addition to being an NCAA football player, Plummer and other players have multiple outside activities to attend, such as team dinners after practice, autograph signings, meet and greets, and more.

While it can be too much for a student athlete to handle, some believe the stress is helpful. According to senior architecture major Julia Gielen, her demanding schedule is a blessing in disguise.

“I’d say that having a more stressful schedule helps me to stay on top of things,” Gielen, a cheerleader, said. “I don’t expect to have a lot of free time so I try to be extremely efficient when I sit down to do homework or study.”

This university also has all different varieties of club and intramural sports to participate in, which makes participating in a sport and balancing schoolwork easier.

In the end, students have different ways to tackle this constant problem of not having the time to get everything done. Somehow, it always manages to figure itself out.

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