Imagine waking up at 6 a.m. for practice. Then going to practice. And then to class, coming home, and starting it all over again the following day.
With the average work day at eight hours, student athletes at any university are putting in overtime.
At NMU, each team has its academic leaders. In their own words, this is what it’s like to balance the two:
Kristen Schulz, freshman sports science major, indoor/outdoor track and cross country, 4.0 GPA
“Having a sport and academics, I?feel like they balance themselves out. If I?don’t have one, it feels like something’s missing.”
Erin Powers, sophomore biology-physiology major, women’s basketball, 4.0 GPA
“I?think I?just have a good work ethic. I always have. Whenever I?have to get something done, I just get it done.”
Maria Stuber, second-year grad student majoring in exercise science, nordic ski team, 3.95 GPA
“You have to think about it like athletics is paying for school, so you have to make sure that it’s important. Some people probably wouldn’t be in school if it weren’t for athletics.”?
Anne Speers, freshman English secondary education major, soccer, 3.97 GPA
“I guess there’s a balance, because without athletics, I wouldn’t be at this school.”?
“Basically, just having a schedule is what really helps. Because if you’re not playing your sport, you have to concentrate and get things done.”
Evan Lucas, freshman construction management major, hockey, 4.0 GPA
“The biggest change was coming from junior (hockey). I spent three years not doing anything, just hockey and going to work every now and then. It’s a lot different having a set schedule — going to class and doing the homework and studying and all that stuff.”
“My parents are always behind me — they’re professors at Northern — every week, they’re asking me how things are going, if there’s any exams or anything.”
Jonathan Laue, junior electronics engineering tech, football, 3.76 GPA
“(Head football coach) Bernie (Anderson) has always been heavy into academics. My parents have really pushed me a lot to get the best out of me.”
“If you’re not going to get it right the first time, when are you going to have the time to do it the next time? Why not just put your full effort in to something the first time?”
Tyler Kazmierkoski, senior social studies/secondary education major, men’s basketball, 3.85 GPA, all-conference academic team.
“I have a competitive nature in whatever I do, and I?look at being competitive in the classroom as being competitive for the future.”
“Once you’re used to the schedule of things, I almost feel lost when we have a couple of weeks off.”