Being a student athlete is tough at any level, but it only gets more difficult as the skill level progresses. College athletes face an extraordinary amount of stress during their years as a student athlete. Between practices, games and competitions, and classes, being a student athlete is a full-time job.
TAI student Lindsey McCurdy is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track and on the SMU Women’s Golf team. Like every student athlete, she has had to learn to balance her time between school and athletics.
“Balancing school and athletics is definitely tough,” McCurdy said. “It’s all about staying focused and managing priorities. Being involved in athletics can be mentally and physically exhausting, so being efficient with your time in both aspects is always important. Golf requires a heavy practice schedule almost every day of the week, so planning classes and study sessions ahead of time is important in order to stay on pace with school work.”
McCurdy chose advertising because it gave her an opportunity to marry her interests of sports and branding. She hopes to play golf professionally after she graduates, and she is planning on using her advertising knowledge to help in her success.
“Advertising is going to play a big role in my post-grad plans,” McCurdy said. “Advertising plays a big part in tournaments, sponsorships, and personal branding in golf. Even when I am playing professionally, advertising and sponsorships will be a big part of my work on and off the course. As an individual sport, personal branding and company sponsorships are important for the success of the athletes in golf. Knowing the ins and outs of the business can help me during my time as a player as well as in my plans to stay in the business after my playing days end.”
TAI student Bari Kesner is an Advertising major the Strategic Brand Management track as well, and she is on the SMU Women’s Soccer team. Like McCurdy, Kesner has learned the art of balancing school and athletics.
“Being a college athlete really teaches you the art of time management,” Kesner said. “Procrastinating is not an option when you miss the amount of school we do during season. I have to be super organized and mark everything in my calendar (games, training, tests, due dates, etc.) in the beginning of the semester so I know how to adequately schedule my time.”
Immediately after graduation Kesner will not be pursuing a career in soccer. Instead, she will be joining Teach for America, serving as a teacher at a low-income school for two years.
“I honestly do not have one clear future career goal at this point of my life,” Kesner said. “I am joining the Teach For America Corps in Los Angeles post graduation in May and plan to teach middle school for the next couple of years. After my teaching experience I believe I will have a more clear vision of what I want to do for the rest of my professional life.”
Although she will not be working in advertising in a traditional sense, Kesner believes that her advertising courses will help her be a better teacher for the group of children she will be teaching.
“Advertising teaches you how to convince people what they need and why they need it or how it will better their lives,” Kesner said. “Because I will be teaching in underserved communities next year, I think advertising will help me successfully sell the importance of education to my students.”
While being a student athlete can lead to many different paths, every student athlete has a unique college experience that they share with each other.
“I have had a very different college experience and have missed countless social and school related events,” Kesner said. “But because of soccer I have learned important life lessons and have met girls that I know will be my best friends for the rest of my life because of what we have gone through together.”