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Obligatory Balancing Athletics and Academics Post

Where Matthew explains some of the resources and tips he has used while balancing athletics and academics at Carleton.

Where Matthew explains some of the resources and tips he has used while balancing athletics and academics at Carleton.

As the resident varsity athlete among the bloggers (I play football), I feel as though my first post should be about my experience as a student-athlete at Carleton. Athletics take up a lot of time but so do the academic expectations at Carleton; learning how to manage my responsibilities has been a journey. I know that all of you reading this blog are accomplished high school students, so I also know that many of you spend your time divided among plenty of extracurricular activities as well as your high school classes. Y’all already know a thing or two about time management. What I want to tell y’all about is my transition into college academics and athletics (and what made it just a bit easier).  


Language Help Desk:

At Carleton there is a language requirement. For mine I decided on Spanish, seeing as I had taken Spanish throughout high school. Should be fine right? I was placed into Spanish 101… Nothing wrong with that! I got to build a really sturdy foundation for my skills and I am grateful for it! There was no way, however, that I was getting through it without some help from the Spanish Help Desk. It’s a table set up on the 4th floor of the Libe (Gould Library) and is run by fellow students.

As much as balancing both academics and athletics is about scheduling your time well, it’s also about efficiency — using your time wisely. With the help of those at the help desk, you can dedicate yourself to your work while also having a friendly and reliable source of knowledge nearby. 


Friends really are the best resource anyone could ask for, especially at Carleton. Many colleges and universities have a pretty cut-throat attitude to grades and academic success, but that couldn’t be further from the case at Carleton. Most everyone at Carleton is happy to help one another because we know that it’s more about the connections we make than being número uno. The same goes for teammates, maybe even more so. By helping one another with our class work we not only help each other learn but become a closer-knit community on the field. It also doesn’t hurt when the upperclassmen on your team have done this whole process before and can offer some free advice. 



One of the hardest things to learn is to say no or to admit that one of your commitments is more important than another. For example, catching a movie at the Weitz might be a little bit less important than studying for an important exam. But, sometimes getting some extra rest is more beneficial than 1 or 2 practice problems. Finding your own balance of the things you commit to is difficult but figuring out which commitments are most important will help you prioritize everything in front of you. 

Take a Step Back:

With how much there is to do on campus it’s very easy to get lost in it all — to mindlessly go through the slog of work and responsibilities. I have found it extremely helpful to take some time once in a while and just take a break.

No, I don’t mean just hop on Netflix right away.

I mean taking a break to assess where I am in my list of things to do. You could do this sitting in your bed in the morning, or while walking around the Arb (Arboretum), as long as it helps take you out of the flood of responsibilities and lets you get a new perspective on your workload.

Matthew is a junior Computer Science major from Oberlin, Ohio, but who also takes up residence in Walla Walla, WA. Most of his time is spent singing in the Carleton Choir or playing football for the Knights. When he has free time he loves to hang out with friends by either grabbing a meal, playing D&D, or lounging on the Bald Spot. He is currently trying to find a way to both eat amazing food and stay active, the eternal struggle. Meet the other bloggers!