The Struggle of an Employed Student Athlete

Elyssa Brown

Being a high school student in general is hard. Having a job or athletics can add to the stress. Though I’d have to say having a job and athletics while being a full time student, that’s top tier stress.
While at first it can seem easy once you get you’re schedule figured out; making sure your job knows you have to be flexible and may not be available at all times, or things may change last minute. But it eventually catches up to you. School 35 hours a week, work 25-30+ hours, and sports 15-21 hours. School from 7:15-2 then practice from 2:30-5 and work from 5-11. Or maybe having to leave practice early to go to work some days, completely cutting out your weekend to work so you can have money to handle your needs. There’s not enough time in the day or month to do everything we need to do.
Being an employed student athlete is different for everyone, but we all hold a lot of weight on our shoulders, and we definitely feel the pressure.
Students alone receive a lot of stress from grades and deadlines. Adding practice and games to that can cut out study time making it harder to balance. But adding a job in there too? Having to stay up late to do school work or cram between practice and work. This can all add to the stress of our already developing lives and minds.

J. Williams plainly said “It’s tiring. I feel overwhelmed sometimes.”
D. Smith explained “Most people think that being an employed student athlete is easy, but with the stress of practice, tournaments, and making sure that your job understands you… it can get frustrating… My dad wants to me to quit working and focus on wrestling, and getting better for the season, which I understand but at the same time we have responsibilities… As an independent person, I prefer the feeling of paying for my own stuff, knowing that I worked for it and that its mine.”
M. Turner went on to say “I feel it’s hard being a employed student athlete because we’re excepted to perform at 110% all the time at all costs. Also we’re on a schedule 24/7 if we aren’t at school we’re at practice if we aren’t at practice we’re at work, and we aren’t working we have other responsibilities, therefore we have to make sure we are on time and covering all our bills. It puts stress and pressure on us even more cause with every one of those places we aren’t excepted to take a break or relax without being called lazy. We have to meet deadlines and also mange a decent sleep schedule. And we all know we don’t leave on time because one or the other has us late… although teachers, bosses, as well as our parents are always down our throats to make sure everything is perfect and okay, us as students are burnt out before Wednesday”

As growing adults we all have a lot on our plate. Keeping up with a social life, work, school, sports, and things to handle at home can be very stressful. This may cause anxiety or depression, leading some to feel failure or disappointment. Everyone handles their situations differently as to what we feel is right. We constantly battle ourselves trying to do our best and not give up to have a better future. As young adults we are told to be young, live our life, enjoy the freedom; but that will only cause us to have a late start in life. We don’t want to work till we’re on our death bed, so why not get started now so we can have a better life? And that’s where it all starts, because we want a better future not only for us but for our children. We don’t want our kids to have to struggle or deal with what we had to, we want to be better parents and adults. Bright futures right?
M. Rodriguez joked “Ever been a divorced parent with two kids? Yea it’s like that, just never know which one you gotta run to first.”
C. Segovia went into detail to say “1. It’s hard. It’s a lot of time consuming. You don’t have a social life and when you work and also play on a team, it can very mentally draining and physically.
2. The stress it causes would be both mental and physical. You can become drained and it can be very bad for your body and your mind. You start to lose sleep, your performance starts to go down.
3. The pressure I feel has to do with a lot of “can I pass the test and can I perform in a game.” You always have to be on your toes, know when to study and when to train. Know when you’re doing too much and over doing it.”
It takes a very strong minded person to be able to balance so much on their plate, and I feel young adults are always expected to act like adults but when we make adult decisions we are expected to sit down and “stay in a child’s place”. As our minds are maturing and growing we are trying to figure out who we are as people. What profession we want to go into, if we even want to go to college or the military, how we’re going to pursue sports or if we want to. It’s hard being expected to “live your life” and make life changing decisions when you’re still figuring out who YOU want to be. Yet we hold our heads up and keep going, we are strong and exceed expectations that are given to our age group. Everyone has a different story behind closed doors, but we’re all fighting the same battle on different fields. Being an employed student athlete is hard, but it’s worth it in the long run. Though it may be draining now, it will replenish your heart and mind later.