The Balancing Act of a Student Athlete

From 6:00AM to 8:30AM everyday, Betsy Rivera’s focus is on enhancing her base running skills, fielding ground balls cleanly, and perfecting her pitching with her fellow teammates on the John Jay Softball Team.


Betsy in the John Jay Softball roster.

Then from 9:25AM to 1:40PM she is dodging students to get to class, taking tedious notes, and trying to figure out where in the Criminal Justice field she wants to end up.


Betsy is currently a Freshman at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a major in Criminology, and this is her everyday life for her remaining time in college if she chooses.

Playing for a NCAA team comes with high levels of responsibility and commitment.

“I didn’t want to join right away because I wanted to see if I could handle the school work coming in as a freshman. I earned a 3.6 GPA in the fall, so I figured  I’d give it a shot.”

Perfecting her form in a batting cage in Queens, New York.

Perfecting her form in a batting cage in Queens, New York.

With gaining such a huge commitment alongside being a full-time college student, challenges occur that student athletes might have to face.

“One main challenge for me so far has been getting used to being around new people, and try to find where I fit best on the team.”

Starting pitcher in one of her high school games.


Normally, the love and passion for sports derives from personally experiences and often times form at a young age.

“I always loved watching the Yankees play, and I would go to their games with my dad. After watching them play for years, I wanted to be just like Derek Jeter. That dream still drives me, and it’s helped pushed me to keep playing for the past 10 years.”

Participating in a photo shoot for a softball organize.

Often times, student athletes are asked how they feel playing a sport will either positively or negatively effect their school work and their overall college experience.

“I think playing softball will positively effect my schoolwork because it forces  me to focus on getting my assignments done so that I’m able to play. It also positively effects my overall college experience because without it, I probably would have never met the people that I have.”

It takes multiple skills in order to have a successful college experience all the while playing a sport.

“I think it’s all about time management, and prioritizing schoolwork because at the end of the day, I’m a student before I’m an athlete.”

In the pitching circle pitching during one of her high school playoff games.

In the pitchers circle during one of her high school playoff games.

From interviewing Betsy, and getting her perspective on how being a student athlete has impacted her life, it shed light on how it is in fact possible to be all work and have some play while you’re in college.

One thought on “The Balancing Act of a Student Athlete

  1. Hi Demi,

    I loved your article. Particularly, here is what I thought you did great with:

    –Your links within the article were excellent resources for those reading.
    –You have a great writing style! I felt like was at the interview with Betsy.
    –You spent time choosing the right pictures for your article and they enhanced the experience for the reader.
    –I really like how you illustrated the life of a student athlete.

    Here are a few things you might want to polish up:
    –You ended following her day at 1:40, but I think it would’ve been better to see how hectic things are after her classes end by including more time-frames as you did at the start of the article.
    –As I mentioned, I like your photos, but the first one is a bit cut off and pixelated. This did not count against you but I’ll have to show you how to make sure they are not pixelated with future articles.

    Thanks for your work here Demi!
    Grade: A-

    Professor Burns

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