Playing sports while in school isn’t easy, according to three student athletes.

 

Miea Campbell-Johnson, a power forward on Humber’s women’s basketball team said that with practice every day and 10 away games per season, it’s sometimes hard to balance schoolwork, basketball and staying mentally healthy.

 

“I don’t tend to stress when it comes to schoolwork. As soon as [an assignment] is handed out, I get a head start on it, make sure I’m not leaving it to the last minute,” Campbell-Johnson said.

 

When school and basketball become too overwhelming, sleeping and hanging out with her friends is Campbell-Johnson’s go to form of escape.

 

Sarah Layefsky said she found it extremely difficult staying mentally healthy while studying and playing basketball at Nipissing University.

 

“I was ready to quit,” Layefsky said. “When I got back from Christmas break, I was so burnt out, I had never felt that done before.”

 

Layefsky played one season for Nipissing, quitting because of the overwhelming stress. After playing basketball for over 12 years she decided to retire from the sport. “I just didn’t love basketball anymore,” she said.

 

Humber College soccer player Rebecca Spratt said it’s hard balancing schoolwork and practice. She said she believes the key to staying mentally heathy while playing sports and going to school is being organized and managing her time wisely.

 

“I have my Google calendar app on my phone, on my computer. I have a written agenda, so just staying organized and always planning in the time for yourself that you need is important,” Spratt said.  She said making sure she has a balance between soccer, school and self-time is important to staying mentally healthy.

 

“It definitely gets overwhelming working, going to school and then soccer but I think what makes it easy, is I have a good support system, when I am overwhelmed, I’m just the type of person where I need to talk about it,” Spratt said.

 

Spratt and Campbell-Johnson were both able to balance being full-time students while playing their respective sports. They are both currently in their fourth year of school. The two women having different reasons as to why being a student athlete is worth it to them.

 

“The person I’ve become through soccer and the friendships I’ve made, really makes it all worth it,” Spratt said.

 

“It gives me something to focus on, it helps me not fall off track,” Campbell-Johnson said. “At the end of the day we have a chance for a national championship, […] or to win provincials and put the school on the map, it’s just a once in a lifetime chance.”