The buzzword surrounding collegiate athletics is “balance.” Student-athletes are expected to fully commit themselves to both halves of this identity: academics and athletics. Beyond that, they should probably also find time for all the other aspects of young-adult life; think: eating, sleeping, hobbies, self-care, etc. I am a sophomore on the Bowdoin College women’s lacrosse team, and couldn’t be happier. My Kent Place experience taught me how to strike my own “balance” so I can find success on and off the field.At KPS, my primary sports were soccer and lacrosse, and sandwiched between them I ran winter track. But, typical of a Kent Place student, I did more than just school and sports. My arguably overbooked schedule taught me two principle lessons: how to prioritize and time-management.
I have heard, and I can attest, that student-athletes find their grades to be better when they are in season. On its face, the assertion that less time generates higher quality work may seem like a non sequitur. But I’d argue that not having time to procrastinate keeps student-athletes focused on getting things done efficiently. Kent Place taught me how to figure out what I should prioritize and make the most of my free time. There were often days at KPS when I spent my free periods chatting in the lounge. But there were also days when I had to use every spare minute during break and conference periods to do school work.
I did have my fair share of late nights in high school; I still do now. However, the lesson I learned here is that the difference is made long before the deadline. I never thought I’d be thanking my KP teachers for regularly giving me long-term assignments. But, I learned to start early and spread out my work. This is how I set myself up for success.
In a similar vein, KPS gave me the skills I needed to step into my role on a new team and succeed. I learned how to communicate with coaches and opponents—but more importantly—with my own teammates. It’s critical to understand that not every member of your team is going to respond positively to the same language. It’s easy to build your teammates’ confidence by learning how to best talk to each individual, which will only make everyone play better together. Kent Place School taught me how to be an overall better teammate.
Packed schedules come with being a KP student, regardless of athletic commitments. So, I’ll close with the biggest lesson KP taught me: it’s never bad to ask for help. I learned to always give 110 per cent in the classroom and on the field. At the end of the day, while the A+’s and W’s are amazing, your happiness should come first. Everyone around you wants to see you succeed — so use your potential and use your resources.
Related: Life as a 3-Sport Athlete