Advice from a Student Athlete

By Kia Mackey '22

It can be stressful trying to balance everything as a member of the Oxy’s women’s soccer team and a Biology major, but with a lot of planning and support Kia Mackey ’22 has made them integral parts of her Oxy experience.

A typical day for me in season starts off with classes in the morning, followed by lunch and then treatment by the athletic trainers. I then either go into my microbial pathogenesis research lab to run an experiment or work as Oxy’s marketing and communications intern. By that point, it's either practice or game time followed by dinner and homework. 

As packed as that schedule sounds, I make a point to carve out time for meeting up with friends on the weekends or watching a show with my housemates during the week to find some balance and stay sane.

Games can take up a lot of time with one to two- hour bus rides and sometimes overtime, but my teammates and I always try to maximize our time, and make sure we’re keeping up with assignments by bringing work on the bus. Occasionally, for some games I have to leave labs early or miss class. Luckily, most of my professors have been understanding and supportive when I do, letting me know how I can make up the work. 

Athletes don’t get pre-registration for courses at Oxy and it can be difficult to register for the classes and labs you need for your major and not have anything conflict with games or practices. But, part of the reason I decided to go to Oxy is because it is a Division III school, meaning that academics come before athletics, so coaches are understanding if you have to come late or leave early from practice or lift because of a class conflict. 

My advice to incoming student athletes: 

  • Quality over quantity - Don’t come into Oxy and sign up for every club and course that seems interesting to you, instead try a few out and figure out what you’re really passionate about. It’s more important that you have enough energy to really engage and give your full energy to your commitments than to have a lot of commitments you can only give half your time and energy towards. Nothing is enjoyable when you’re stretched too thin. 
  • Ask for help - when you get overwhelmed (because you likely will) reach out to a trusted professor or coach and ask for their advice for how to navigate what you’re struggling with. Most will point you to resources like peer tutoring, Emmons, or work out an extension on an assignment. It’s better to ask for help than struggle alone. 
  • Find your community - either through your sport, clubs, or classes it's important to build your community that is there to support you no matter the size because it’ll be important to have that group to celebrate your wins with or fall back on for support when you are struggling. 
  • Enjoy yourself - As hectic as life can get as a student-athlete it's important to carve out time to have fun and relax or find enjoyment in your commitments. It's not worth the time commitment to your sport or your major if you aren’t enjoying your time at Oxy. 
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