Letters from Carrigan: Know Yourself

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Hi there, thanks for tuning in for volume two! I hope everyone had a relaxing Fall Break. I didn’t get to go back home for the break, but I did get some extra sleep and a couple delicious meals, so I can’t really complain.

Now that we’ve all come back from some much needed rest and relaxation, we find ourselves diving into the toughest stretch of the year. Additionally, as school stress increases, fall athletes are starting to feel physically worn down as teams approach the playoff push. That makes this a very crucial time to stay focused and dedicated. The stretch between Fall and Thanksgiving breaks is a marathon, not a sprint, so effective time management is paramount to staying successful.

Personally, I’ve found myself leaving my room more often because I often find myself distracted there. Having different physical locations for work, play and relaxation allows me to dedicate myself fully to each type of task. This helps me avoid the trap of “multi-tasking,” which inevitably leads to five minutes of studying bookended by 15 minute Facebook breaks.

I also make use of my planner, my calendar and a lot of written notes to myself. These help to keep deadlines and make sure nothing goes undone until the last minute.
Nikki Bennington ’19, a volleyball player, says that when she really has to focus she tries to work alone. “I think what would save me the most time is having zero friends and zero romantic interests,” she said.

Lawson Busch ’19, a football player, says that most important to him is understanding when you are able to do work. Lawson understands that he is really only able to do work in the windows immediately before and after practice, so knowing that these times are going to be for work ahead of time really helps him. “If there are things you want to do on the weekend, plan to have all your responsibilities done before then,” he said.

Rachel Stromsta ’19, a goalie for the women’s soccer team, had some very direct advice. “The most important thing about time management is planning,” she said. “Plan when you are going to have focused work, and stick to what you plan.”

As you can see, the advice that I received from my fellow young athletes varied. What’s most important is to understand your own personal learning and study styles.

Some people work better alone, while some people study best in a group. Some people work better using breaks, and some people work best when they do all their work in one sitting.

Knowing what works best for you is critical to effective study and being a good student. As busy as we young athletes are, managing time effectively is probably the most vital thing to being successful in the classroom and on the field.

What would you want to read about next week? I want this column to be as interactive as possible, so please email me with questions, comments, or suggestions. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

As always, have a great week, and stay positive!