Alarm goes off at 7:55 a.m. Go to class, eat lunch and go to class again. Stop in at Sports Medicine. Go to practice from 4:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Eat dinner, do work and then go to bed at midnight.
And then do it all over again, five days a week for three months.
This is what life is like during volleyball season for sophomore Sophia Meagher in the College of Business.
Lehigh athletes follow similar schedules in order to balance academic and athletic work loads.
Lehigh placed 123 student-athletes on the Fall Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for the 2021 fall season, including Meagher. Student-athletes who received this honor achieved a 3.2 grade point average or above during the fall semester.
Members of every fall sports — football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country — were recognized.
Meagher is one of the 13 Lehigh student-athletes, of the Patriot League’s 119, that obtained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the semester.
For Meagher, that accomplishment was accompanied by discipline and hard work.
In-season student-athletes have to juggle practices, lifts, games, meetings and film and recovery sessions, all on top of their academic schedules.
“I had to cross my T’s and dot my I’s to make sure everything was done earlier on in the week, so I didn’t have to think about it on the court,” Meagher said.
Weekends, and sometimes even weekdays, can fully consist of games and travel for Lehigh athletes.
“I would run from Spanish class to get on the bus for a six-hour drive to compete, and the last thing I wanted to think about was my school work during that time,” Meagher said.
Junior Sophie Leighton, a field hockey player in the College of Arts and Sciences, said playing sports has helped her to separate and structure her day.
Keeping a calendar, writing things down and creating to-do lists are some of the things Leighton does to stay organized.
Team study halls were an option for freshman football player Harrison Jenkins, who is in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering.
Although study hall was on Zoom instead of in person this past fall, Jenkins said that it helped to see his fellow teammates focusing on the call to motivate him.
The three student-athletes take different approaches to studying.
Whether one works better in the mornings, like Leighton, or in the nighttime, like Meagher and Jenkins, prioritizing time is essential for succeeding both on the field and court, and in the classroom.
Meagher rewrites things over and over again until she memorizes them, Leighton spends most of her time writing papers and creating presentations and Jenkins practices problems and watches supplementary YouTube videos to understand his classes’ concepts.
The three student-athletes said that habits, which they have picked up through their athletic commitments, have carried over into the classroom.
Leighton said that playing her sport helps her develop communication skills that allow her to be more comfortable in presentation settings.
“Doing practice problems is just like getting reps on the field,” Jenkins said. “The more you do them, the more it engrains them.”
While his commitment to football is time consuming, Jenkins said he views it as a release.
Jenkins said that while he is playing, he isn’t thinking about his school work for hours at a time.
“(Playing football) helps me to be more focused when I do go back to sit down and do it,” Jenkins said.
Meagher, Leighton and Jenkins are now out of season, but all said they are able apply the time-management skills they develop while in season to their school-work in the fall.