My name is Lizz Lavie and I am going into my junior year at the University of California, Berkeley. I am a Division I athlete and student in the Haas School of Business. I was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia but am loving school in Northern California. Having experienced both east and west coast ways of life, I have learned a lot and feel as though I have become a much more cultured person from my time at Berkeley. I am extremely active and I enjoy traveling, trying all different forms of exercise, writing and photography.
In high school, I often felt like I was spreading myself thin between school, sports, and my social life. College, however, is an entirely new level of struggling with time-management for active people like me. I have always been involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, mostly sports and an occasional club or organization.
I was recruited to play Division I lacrosse and committed just before my senior year. I knew that I was signing up for daily practices, meetings, and overall a pretty big time commitment. But you never really realize what you’re getting into until you start the daily grind of college where classes are much harder, the social scene is constant and there are countless clubs, activities, and sporting events to occupy the rest of your time. As a freshman, time-management is particularly challenging because everything is so new and exciting. It takes a while to get used to this new freedom and figure out how to spend your time to make the most out of your college experience.
Having experienced so much activity in high school, it didn’t take as long for me to adjust to my hectic schedule. However, I can’t say the same for some of my teammates. We practice for three hours a day (arriving at least half an hour early and spending time afterwards in the training room) with classes before and after practice. I often found myself running from the stadium where we practice to my next class in order to be on time. While it can be extremely tempting to skip class, I force myself to go because I know that with our crazy travel schedule I will eventually be behind regardless. Not all of my friends and teammates had this same thought process. I knew several people freshman year that would go out every night and skip class as often as possible simply because they could. Two of my teammates had to quit lacrosse because they were struggling academically and trying to balance sorority life while being a Division I athlete. I don’t blame them at all, sometimes it is difficult to say “no” to things in college and ultimately you have to choose to commit to the things that you are most interested in rather than half-heartedly involving yourself in everything.
This isn’t to say that you can’t do it all. I also know plenty of student-athletes who are actively involved in Greek life and have found a good balance between school, their sport, and their social life. It just takes a little bit of discipline and scheduling. The college adjustment was a lot easier for me because of my love of scheduling and making lists (I can be a bit OCD at times). I would write out my day-to-day schedule in my planner, keeping track of all of my assignments and when they were due as well as practice times, social events, advisor meetings, etc. Keeping track of your schedule will make college life so much easier. If you set aside a certain time to do your homework in advance, it will make you feel guilty staying in bed and watching movies all day. It will ultimately force you to be productive for that time so you can finish your assignment and return to whatever show you may currently be binge-watching. Even if you’re not a student athlete, time-management will always be an adjustment in college. So, take the time to figure out what extracurricular activities you want to be involved in and find a healthy balance between those, your schoolwork, and your social life.