As a varsity athlete, it seems like “work hard, play hard” has been the mantra of the past four, going on five years of my life. Just ask my fellow cross country/track teammates (shout out to Cydney Ross, Leslie Morrison, and Megan Deakins!!). We’re always on the run from one place to another (no pun intended, or maybe it was …). This mantra resonates even more while I’m in grad school, due to an increase in workload while still going to early morning practices and weekend competitions.
Some of you may ask, is it possible to go to grad school while being on a division I team, and still do well? The answer: yes! I’ll be honest though, you will be very busy and it takes good time management skills, but it is possible. A majority of my time is spent going to practice and school, and I finish assignments during my breaks. During the week, I always stay on top of my assignments and responsibilities because I know that I may be out of town during the weekend for a meet. Even though my school and athletic obligations take up a good amount of my time, I am still able to find moments to hang out with friends, volunteer at an elementary school, read a good book, etc.
Personally, I really enjoy being an athlete while attending grad school. The Fuqua community is very supportive of Duke athletics. We have several athletes in the MMS program, ranging from the track team to lacrosse and wrestling. We all get support for our athletic accomplishments from our professors, classmates, and the Fuqua community as a whole. My MMS teammates are always willing to schedule meetings around my athletic schedule (thanks team!). Sometimes it can be challenging to accommodate class and practice schedules, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. You can work out a way to attend class and do the necessary workouts.
So for those athletes who have one more year of eligibility, and are considering the MMS program, DO IT! It’s a double win — you get to continue to compete in the sport you love while gaining a master’s degree that opens up more career opportunities.