Thompson Rivers University

WolfPack athletics and the art of balanced living

  Posted on: April 18, 2019

Connor McKenzie

NorKam graduate, PACE Leader and WolfPack Baseball player Connor McKenzie shares some tips on how to strike balance in a busy student life.

Connor McKenzie is a Geography and Environmental Studies major and is in his third year with the TRU WolfPack Baseball team. A graduate of NorKam Secondary School, McKenzie cites his dream job as lecturer. 

As a student-athlete, balancing life, work, athletics and education can be a massive undertaking. How do I fit every obligation into my jam-packed schedule?  Time management is key. Planning and organization are essential to my daily routine, and it’s has taken a lot of practice to get it right.

Before I head off to bed, I ensure that my books, clothes, gear, towel, and meals are prepared and packed for the next day.  (Yes, your mom was right for making you do this). I sleep better knowing that everything is in order, which makes the morning even more manageable.

Compartmentalizing my time up into hourly sections has allowed me to make the most of my time. Scheduling short breaks throughout the day gives you something to look forward to – especially during hectic periods.

My life as a student-athlete is unique to the student experience. The stakes are especially high in that my eligibility to play the sport rests on my ability to succeed in the classroom. However, I spend far more time doing the former than the latter.  Remaining present allows me to maintain focus, manage my schedule and handle my responsibilities with ease.

There aren’t enough hours in the day

Twenty-four hours might not seem like enough some days, but time management is critical:

  • Managing your time with an agenda or planner is a great way to clarify your thoughts and de-stress. Documenting and tracking your deadlines, tests or appointments gets your priorities onto the page and out of your mind.
  • Designating study times helps you stay on top of the many responsibilities you are trying to balance (but you have to commit to actual studying). I love talking to my friends between classes or scrolling through news feeds, so I rely on checklists, solitude, and flight mode to keep me on track.
  • Scheduling downtime can be very motivating. Achieving daily goals in a timely matter ensures that you’ll be able to relax or socialize without guilt.
  • Establishing a mantra or positive affirmation helps with the completion of tasks. When I’m at the gym, practice or school, I always think, “If I get a good workout in while I am at the gym, I can leave happy,” or “If I work hard during practice, I feel like I’ve contributed.” If I’m diligent with my studies, I can enjoy my free time without any unfinished business weighing down on me.