89 The Pandemic Student Athlete

JQuan Patterson

The Pandemic Student Athlete



Your first year in college is also in a pandemic? My name is JQuan Patterson; I am a freshmen basketball player here at the university. My freshmen year of college was also in a global pandemic and being a student athlete was very tough and weird to get through. Being a student athlete in high school and college are way two different things but being a student athlete in high school and college while also being a global pandemic is a totally complete situation and setting to be living in and being a student athlete. Coming to college for the first time and not knowing what to expect and how the athletics was going to be handled was very scary and being very anxious to know how we are going to have workouts, practices, or even to have a season.

How it’s Going

To begin with, balancing classes and being in athletics is already tough but balancing those both things while being in a global pandemic is very stressful to deal with. “Student athletes juggle more demands than the typical college student. By the time their dormmates sleepwalk into their 9 a.m. class, student athletes have already run three miles, eaten breakfast and started the week’s assignments. They may be amateurs, but when it comes to juggling sports and their studies, many are forced to become pros quickly”, as stated in the article ‘Balancing School & College Sports, https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/student-athletes-and-academics/’. I really don’t know what all sports are dealing with here but I’m pretty sure it’s all the same because we are all one big athletic family here at UPike. Being a basketball player here at Upike; Covid has really changed our schedule completely and has really thrown us off and other sports here for the NAIA. In basketball we must do a certain protocol and follow that protocol so we cannot not get shutdown and to keep our season; even though it is already pushed back at least we still have one. Other sports as well are following a certain protocol to stay safe during their sport; I asked my friend that plays soccer and they have a whole small book of protocols to follow so they can keep their season, so everyone has a protocol to follow so they can play the sport that they love. Being a student athlete is a big thing from an article that is called “what it means to be a student athlete” by Sydney Story it states “Being a student athlete is much more than the hours we put in to our sport. It is much more than the early wake up time, the frustration with teammates, coaches, and your average student. Being a student athlete means that we get to put our school’s name on our back and represent it doing what we love. We have worked hard to accomplish where we are and that pride of stepping out on game day is worth every ounce of sweat”. But for I have a couple tips that is getting me through classes and sports while in a pandemic that Is keeping me not stress and organized with being a student athlete.


The first tip that I have that helps me with balancing classes and athletics is journaling. Journaling is a big thing that I do to keep me organized; I have my own personal journal that I use to write goals and my classes. So, the way that I use my journal is that I write all my classes down and see where my free time is and when I can go workout and also when i have practice and i start my day doing that every single morning so my day can run so smoothly. Balancing college and athletics can be stressful and overwhelming for some student athletes, but journaling helps with stress, expressing your emotions, and being organized. The article that I found that is called “verywellmind” stated “One of the most effective ways to reduce stress with journaling is to write in detail about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events, as one would discuss topics in therapy, and brainstorm solutions, but there are several different ways to practice journaling”. Overall journaling is a very important aspect that student athletes should try and do because it helps overall get organized and have peace of mind when times get overwhelmed and there will be a time when you get overwhelmed; journaling helps with all of that and is a great thing to do.

Doing Things Early

The second tip that I have that helps me with balancing classes and athletics is to simply just do the work early. My first year in my classes; we got the whole module and assignments on Monday with all the due dates before Sunday. So, what really helped me in my first year is getting the work done early; like for example I usually got my work done with the first three days of the week so the rest of the week all I had to worry about was the workouts and practices instead of stressing about both which is overwhelming. From the source “www.dumblittleman” it states “Getting work done early gives you the opportunity to get some distance, meaning you are more likely to pick up on mistakes or biases. Writing in panic mode just before a deadline means not only are more mistakes made, but there is no chance to put them right”, which is totally true. Getting your work done early helps a lot for being a student athlete because when it is time to practice or workout in your sport you don’t have to worry about on how you are going to finish your assignment or when the deadline is due; when you can focus on the actual sport that you are playing in practice or workouts. Overall getting things early is great for student athletes or regular college students; to me it feels so great to get the work done early so for the rest of the week I can focus on the sport that I love.


To conclude, being a student athlete in a global pandemic is stressful, frustrating, and overwhelming but those two tips help me a lot and other of my teammates as well because they do it to; so, they are effective tips. Being a student athlete in this pandemic can be troubling, but you just must take one step a day and just have an open mind that anything can happen, so it must be a process. Journaling and getting things early help me a lot going through this pandemic and being a student athlete; “it’s a marathon” as the great Nipsey Hussle says. If I and the other student athletes got through this year safe and ok, then you can too with also the help from coaches, athletic director, trainers, and the University of Pikeville.



The Pandemic Student Athlete Copyright © by JQuan Patterson. All Rights Reserved.

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