by Kiki Bennett–Students are at the part in the semester where it’s difficult enough just being a student, let alone being a student athlete.
Stress levels are high right now, especially at Morningside which has student athletes making up a big part of the population. Question is when does the constant go-go-go of being a student effect their mental health.
Priorities are a confusing thing for many student athletes, it’s “confusing because you’re here to go to school, but you are also here to uphold your scholarships for the athletics,” said Morningside school counselor Bobbi Meister. Meister stressed the difficulty, especially for freshman, of trying to figure out which one gets the top priority.
Coaches at Morningside have a good reputation for working with athletes who become overwhelmed with academics. “If you are ever super stressed out you can miss a practice. Our swim coach is super understanding,” said freshman swimmer Beth Routon.
For those student athletes who are involved in more activities than just their sport, they may find it difficult to find time to unwind. When students do find a minute to take a break, their minds keep racing. “I find that a lot of times when I’m hanging out, I’m constantly thinking about things I should be studying for,” said sophomore track athlete Danielle Unrau.
“You cannot feel guilty about relaxing or else it defeats the purpose of unwinding,” said Meister. There are a lot of students who feel the same way as Unrau, that they constantly should be doing something.
This constant stress for student athletes is not something that is unique to Morningside. The NCAA has found that mental health issues like anxiety top the list of student athlete concerns. According to The Atlantic many teams that are a part of the NCAA are adding therapists and counselor to athletic offices to aid athletes in their mental health battles.