By Ross LaBauex, Perfect Soccer Recruit
A new school, new people, and all new surroundings are what you will encounter that first day you step on your college campus. So many emotions are running through your head and the anticipation of preseason is unbearable. You move into the dorm, meet your roommate; hug your parents goodbye. At that moment, the realization of being away from home and officially being a college student begins to sink in. The next four years are going to be exciting and fun, but not to be unaccompanied with some difficult times. College is a time when you are trying to form your own identity. You're working to figure out what you're passionate about, what motivates you, what classes interest you the most; all while trying to figure out the formula to becoming the best student-athlete you can be. Finding the solution to this formula is no easy feat, and I have personally seen many teammates struggle with balancing it all.
The process of succeeding as a student-athlete should not scare you, but should motivate you to do all the right things, starting your freshman year, to set an excellent foundation for the next four years. I want to share with you five tips that I learned as a freshman student-athlete that will make your transition to college, and college soccer, smoother.
1. Organize your days
Quickly understand that you're going to be busy from 7 am to 9 pm, most nights. Whether that be going to class, study hall, watching film, getting treatment, eating, writing papers, etc., maximizing your time and staying on schedule is paramount. Purchase a planner the first day of school. With your planner, enter all relevant dates so that you have all of your information quickly accessible. The most important dates should be papers, quizzes, midterms, practice, and your class schedule. If you want to be even more extensive (which you should) make notes of particular days of when you will work on an assignment. For example, say you have a paper due in Psychology in two weeks. Along with writing in your planner, “Psychology paper due in two weeks”, you would include notes that every Monday Wednesday and Thursday from 2 pm to 4 pm, you will spend time working on your paper. This will prevent significant assignments from sneaking up on you and allow you to avoid the stresses of doing assignments at the last second. The more you continue to stay organized, the more you will get into a routine that feels like it is running on autopilot!
2. Sit in the first few rows during lectures/Go to office hours
There is a chance that your introductory classes (Biology 101, Economics 101, etc.) will have a significant amount of students. Having big lecture classes can be overwhelming and foreign but there is a way to combat these feelings. Sitting in the first few rows will make the class seem smaller and more intimate. You will see sitting in the front allows for fewer distractions, engagement levels are higher, and the professor will begin to remember you, even if there are 300 kids in the class. Your professors are smart, and they will appreciate the attentiveness, the effort, and the dedication. What professors also like is for students to come to their office hours. Office hours are the time in which the professor offers time out of the week for students to come in to ask questions on a more personal level. Professors love interacting with students, and they love when students come in and show they want to learn and be great. Sitting in the front rows and regularly going to office hours will play to your favor, when you are on the cusp of a B or A. The Professor will take these things into account when it comes to grading, so GO TO CLASS, PAY ATTENTION, AND SIT IN THE FRONT!!
Get the rest of this article in the September Issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete. This issue includes an article from former North Carolina Tarheel National Champion, Yael Averbuch, on her championship experience; interviews with Becky Burleigh and star players from the University of Florida; an article on the differences between college and pro training with legendary coaches, Schellas Hyndman and Randy Waldrum; and articles on making the transition to college soccer and what an injured player can do to support the team. These articles along with many more await you. Subscribe Today.