“Student athlete” is a single phrase which sometimes hides how different the two words are and how difficult it is for them to coexist.
There are plenty of pros and cons to being a Humber College varsity athlete, Humber Athletics staff note.
Being a student and an athlete on any squad means two full time jobs. It’s a challenge for every student athlete – as Humber takes as much pride in their athletic programs as they do their academic streams.
“It’s possible to be both,” said Monique Haan, head of Humber Athletics Student Services.
Some athletes agree, but and say they have thrived in their college experience as a result.
“Making a lot of friends, it’s really good to get that experience of being on a team and leadership skills,” said women’s cross country member Kobee Phillips, who is in her second year of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.
And of course the “free clothes,” she adds with a laugh.
Another asset the students receive access to is an open study centre right above Humber’s gymnasium.
Designed specifically for athletes and their busy work schedule, varsity players have access to the Internet in a large quiet space for completing work with most of the sports’ team headquarters nearby.
But student athletes still must tackle everyday struggles which play an even larger role in their lives as they try and balance school and sports.
“The cons are just balancing time, going to practice and trying to keep up with your school work,” said men’s rugby player Jordan Querino, who is in his second year of Massage Therapy.
Some of Humber’s varsity athletes said the stress of being an athlete and a student motivates them as they are competitive by nature.
“I find it helps me organize, too. It’s kind of a good thing, a little stress helps me organize my day,” said Sasha Bailey of the women’s rugby team who is in her third year of Sports Management.
And it’s not just the free goodies, or the rewarding outcomes of being a Humber athlete that make the experience of being a student athlete special.
“We can always ask other athletes to help tutor us with courses,” said Kreneau, reflecting on the family-like atmosphere.
“Also, Monique does a very good job at making sure we’re all good students. We have courses on time management to help us through the year,” he said.