Opinion: Student-Athletes Finding the Balance


Bridgewater Eagles Athletics

Sophomore Will Dunlap hitting a contested three-pointer in practice. The men’s basketball team tries to get in more practice before they journeyed to Costa Rica in August.

Dylan Simpkins, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- Balancing the conflicting requirements of sports and education is a struggle for many student-athlete to process, making it hard to perform well in class and on tests while also performing well on the court, field, or anything else that sports are played on.

This is very prevalent when student-athletes do not set themselves up for success. This means they have no plan to help take the load off of their shoulders when it comes to balancing education and sports. 

Bridgewater College has many sports, which means they have student-athletes that have to face trials and tribulations when it comes to compensating between academics and sports. Students attack these circumstances in all different types of ways. 

“I plan my week out in advance, planning when to do homework assignments around my practices and games,” said sophomore basketball player Will Dunlap. “Also, if I see I’m going to have a pretty busy week sports wise, then I get my work done early enough to where I do not have to worry about it.” 

It’s very easy to imagine that’s the case for all if not most of these athletes, but an abundance of students stay up very late into the night working on assignments due the next day or studying for a test and not getting any sleep.

“I stay up till about midnight working on assignments, but I honestly do not mind it, and when I have an away game, but also a test the next day, I bring my studying materials with me on the bus and study there,” said sophomore soccer player Jack Leopold. 

Bridgewater has numerous resources to assist student-athletes as well, such as the writing center, math center, tutors and reasonable professors who care about their students’ lives. 

The Bridgewater College Forrer Learning Commons is a very quiet place for an athlete to go to get their work done in advance, so they can perform in their preferred sport without having to worry about making up homework, or worrying about a test the very next day after a long travel day. 

Bridgewater intends for these students to prevail and succeed in both the classroom and on the court or field, and will do anything to help these performers get to where they need to be in terms of these requirements.