Student athletes balance school and social life

Balancing academics and a social life while partaking in sports and extracurricular activities may be challenging and cause students to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay on top of your school work and become a successful athlete, all while making time for yourself. 

Mason Barela, junior, on Jupiter High School’s varsity baseball team has trouble maintaining good grades because of his practices that consist of time consuming participation. 

“Varsity practice is demanding…practicing everyday, two and a half hours right after school and Saturdays nine to one,” Barela said.

Barela advises that having a good relationship with teachers is crucial to staying on top of everything. For him, letting teachers know his goals and where he wants to be in the future is crucial for support in getting there. 

“I make sure that they know where I’m trying to go [for college],” Barela said. 

Nolan Payne, sophomore varsity baseball player at JHS, states keeping a planner helps him stay organized and on task. 

“I plan everything out…what I’m going to do and how I’ll do it,” Payne said.

Payne highlights the idea of how what he does grade-wise reflects how he plays. Maintaining this mindset has bettered the way he feels about himself and his attitude toward both school and baseball.   

“Make sure you’re doing the right things in the classroom because it’ll translate onto the field,” Payne said. 

Robert McNally, who is a senior in the JHS marching band, says getting in the habit of staying in the same routine helped McNally juggle work, school and rehearsals held invariably. 

“Stay really organized with what you’re doing,” McNally said. 

McNally says though he loves band, balancing his social life can be difficult at times.

“There’s a lot of times where there’s something happening on a weekend…but I have band every weekend so I can’t go,” Mcnally said. Instead, he doesn’t let this discourage him. “I find fun in everything I do.”

McNally goes on to say the band doesn’t get in the way of his priorities because it is a priority. 

“If you think about what you’re doing a lot, you’re going to get better at it,” McNally said. 

He goes on to detail how this helps him become more efficient in band while staying on top of his school work. 

Jake Finnegan, sophomore and varsity baseball player at JHS, aspires to play for Vanderbilt University and stresses that staying on top of his grades rather than his social life, helps him stay focused on his goals. 

Having people in Finnegan’s life has helped motivate him in achieving his future goals as well. His parents emphasize striving for what he wants to see in his future, begins in the classroom. 

“While I love my friends and social life, my future and career has to come first,” Finnegan said.