By, Dayoon Chang
Many people ask me: how do you cope with figure skating AND academics? Although academics has always been my first priority, pursuing a sport I love has helped me in ways I never could have imagined before.
Academics is always at the top of my priority list, but, due to sports, my approach to academics has changed over the past six years. I learned the magic of time management and efficiency. Time management has taught me how to distribute my time efficiently so that the rigorous load of homework does not force me to sacrifice my little time I have to focus on my sport. As I began to organize my time more efficiently, my typically heavy Winsor homework load seemed to take up less time. I was less distracted and that helped me to be more focused for longer periods of time. Then, in the extra time that I made, I was able to pay more attention to ballet, off ice training, and skating needs. Exploring efficient studying methods resulted in both better grades and better competition results. The extra time allowed me to take more off-ice classes, as off-ice conditioning for figure skating is just as important as on-ice training. I ended up being very fit while still maintaining good grades. A win for a win.
By having both academics and sports in my life, I can also use one or the other to recharge myself. Somedays, I have some bad days at school, and I use skating to release the stress and tension. The same applies to bad days at the rink; each provides me a haven, a place where I can be safe and forget about the troubles of the past. The laser focus on academics and sports helps me to calm myself down and think about my love for both commitments.
The way I see it, academics and sports lie on opposite sides of a scale. In my life, both the academics and sports weigh the same based on commitment, pressure, and dedication. However, because they weigh the same, they balance themselves out. There is no one heavy enough to require sacrificing the other. Both benefit each other by being the same weight. Although it may seem as if I would not be able to handle the pressure of both the athletic and academic worlds, I can confidently say that having both in my life has given me a new perspective.
From my experience, I encourage Winsor students to never shy away from doing extracurricular activities such as school sports, independent sports, or plays. Exploring different interests can ultimately help students with everyday life.