By Alex Bahena ’19
“Let’s go Jaguars” nothing beats hearing the support from the school when you are on the field. Being an athlete can be seen as a great thing by many, but do people truly know what is going on behind the scenes? Being a student athlete can be very time consuming and difficult. Students have to attend class, attend practice, and have a passing academic standing in order to play.
It takes a lot of energy to perform well in school and still have a enough energy to perform on the field. GPA is very crucial for a student, which makes or breaks an athlete’s chances to play. If a player falls below a 2.3, they become ineligible. After they become ineligible they are not allowed to play until they are above the GPA benchmark. Senior Track runner Willianys Vargas has been ineligible, and it has had an impact on her. Vargas states, “I had brought my gpa to a 2.3 then it went back down to a 2.2 again so I couldn’t race [on March 16].” When talking about her road to eligibility Vargas added, “I think this year has been the hardest to keep my grades up just because everything’s so fragile. For example, you can do all your homework but do poorly on a quiz and be stuck with that grade so you’re left with no way of putting it up other than waiting for the next assignment.”
Another problem people face is having to do homework or other responsibilities after practice or games. Senior Rugby player Jonathon Sotelo is someone who deals with this. Sotelo stated, “As a student athlete, I mainly struggle with finding the time to do homework after practice and games. It’s a struggle working hard, then trying to stay awake while I study.”
Sotelo builds on his struggles with time management by stating, “To manage my time I usually do my homework ahead of time.” Sotelo mentions if this isn’t completed it cuts into his sleep and he finishes it the next morning.
GPA is not the only thing student athletes have to go through. Some athletes have other responsibilities besides school and their sport. Senior Rugby player Jose Aguilar stated, “I have trouble managing my time especially since I work.” Work does not stop Aguilar from staying eligible. Aguilar stated, “I also lose lots of sleep to catch up on [school] work. In order for me to do my homework, I cut into my sleep time and usually get 5 hours of sleep max. During the weekend I get up at around six, workout, and do homework until I have to go to work.”
No matter what it is student athletes go through, their set of struggles takes a lot of dedication to stay on top of playing the sport they love, staying on top of their academics, and managing their time in order to do everything else.